We’ve all been “Grim Grinning Ghosts” after Disney’s plethora of Halloween-themed announcements today.
It’s been a big day for Halloween news out of Disney Parks, including the return of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World, Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure, Hocus Pocus spells on Disney Cruise Line, and even new outfits for Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
And now, Happy Haunts have received your sympathetic vibrations, and in celebration of this year’s Halfway to Halloween, have materialized news on the brand-new Haunted Mansion movie!
Disney’s first Haunted Mansion movie was released back in 2003 and starred Eddie Murphy alongside plenty of ghosts and ghouls. With an abundance of references back to the Disney Park attraction – including Madame Leota, Master Gracey, hitchhiking ghosts, and a Ghost Host butler, the film failed to impress at the box office.
The attraction-based movie came out the same year as Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), which became a massive hit for Disney and has since inspired four sequels.
For fans of the classic Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World wanting more – welcome, Foolish Mortals, to news regarding Disney’s reboot of the Haunted Mansion movie franchise starring Owen Wilson. After much speculation, Disney Parks Blog shared today, April 28, the official logo and plot for the new Haunted Mansion film:
Disney also finally revealed the full list of stars in the new movie based on Disney’s Haunted Mansion theme park ride:
Walt Disney Pictures’ “Haunted Mansion,” is based on Disney’s classic theme parks attraction and starring a star-studded ensemble cast that includes LaKeith Stanfield “Knives Out,” Tiffany Haddish “Bad Trip,” Owen Wilson Marvel’s “Loki,” Danny DeVito “Jumanji: The Next Level,” Rosario Dawson “Zombieland: Double Tap” and Chase Dillon “The Underground Railroad.”
The film was directed by Justin Simien “Bad Hair,” “Dear White People” and produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich “Aladdin.” Nick Reynolds “Easter Sunday” and Tom Peitzman “The Lion King” are the executive producers.
The Haunted Mansion movie follows a single mom named Gabbie, who hires a tour guide, a psychic, a priest, and a historian to help exorcise their newly bought mansion after discovering it is inhabited by ghosts. The movie’s plot sounds very different from the fun family-friendly shenanigans of Eddie Murphy, who had to try to break the curse of a mansion he and his family were trapped inside.
Haunted Mansion will be released in theaters on March 10, 2023. Disney has yet to confirm if the reboot is a comedy, drama, or both, but goes on to explain the spooky plot in more detail:
In this mysterious adventure, a doctor (Dawson) and her 9-year-old son (Dillon), looking to start a new life, move into a strangely affordable mansion in New Orleans, only to discover that the place is much more than they bargained for. Desperate for help, they contact a priest (Wilson), who, in turn, enlists the aid of a widowed scientist-turned failed-paranormal expert (Stanfield), a French Quarter psychic (Haddish) and a crotchety historian (DeVito).
Back in July 2010, it was announced that a reboot adaptation based on the Haunted Mansion was in development for Walt Disney Pictures, with Guillermo del Toro directing. del Toro revealed that the Hatbox Ghost would be one of the main characters, and said the movie would be “scary and fun at the same time, but the scary will be scary.”
By July 2013, however, del Toro had announced he was no longer the project’s director but remained as co-writer and producer. In August 2020, it was announced that Katie Dippold signed on to write a new screenplay for the film after it was decided that del Toro’s script was too scary for family audiences. Justin Simien was then officially confirmed as director by July 2021.
The Haunted Mansion is one of Disney’s most popular and iconic attractions. Inspiring creative merchandise, Halloween parade floats, movies (starring Eddie Murphy and now Owen Wilson), and even The Muppets Haunted Mansion Disney+ version, the dark ride attraction features a ride-through tour in an Omnimover vehicle called a “Doom Buggy”.
Located at Disneyland in New Orleans Square, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris (Phantom Manor), and Hong Kong Disneyland (Mystic Manor), Disney’s haunted house uses a range of clever technology tricks to create its famous 999 happy haunts, including spectral Audio-Animatronics and optical illusions like Pepper’s Ghost.
Featuring classic Disney Park characters such as the Hitchhiking Ghosts, the bride Constance Hatchaway, and Madame Leota, the Haunted Mansion has become synonymous with “silly spooks” and Disney theme park magic.
In the original 2003 Haunted Mansion movie, real estate agent Jim Evers (Eddie Murphy) takes his family on vacation after being accused by his wife, Sara (Marsha Thomason), of neglecting his son (Marc John Jefferies) and daughter (Aree Davis). The Evers family stops en route at a sinister mansion that Jim has been asked to sell, only to discover it’s haunted by Master Gracey (Nathaniel Parker), his butler, Ramsley (Terence Stamp), and two other servants who need help breaking a curse.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the Disney film has a rating of only 14% based on 140 reviews and an average rating of 4.2/10. We’ll have to wait until March 2023 to see if this new Haunted Mansion movie performs any better.