Thursday at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con, the Walt Disney Studios dropped a surprise announcement that Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) will write and produce a new film adaptation of the classic Disneyland ride, the Haunted Mansion. He will be co-writing the screenplay with previous collaborator Matthew Robbins (Mimic).
This version of the Haunted Mansion, which had a very un-noteworthy first foray into film in 2003 starring Eddie Murphy and written by David Berenbaum, looks to turn a 180-degree angle from that comedic flop with a return to a darker, more horrific tone that del Toro is known for.
“Dark imagery is an integral part of the Walt Disney legacy. After all, Disney himself was the father of some really chilling moments and characters - think Chernabog from Fantasia or Maleficent as the Dragon or the Evil Queen in Snow White,” said del Toro. “I couldn't be more excited to be a part of my own adaptation of the original theme park attraction Walt envisioned and that remains- for me- the most desirable piece of real estate in the whole world!"
“Millions of people from around the world visit The Haunted Mansion each year, but no one has ever had a tour guide like Guillermo del Toro,” said Rich Ross, Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. “Guillermo is one of the most gifted and innovative filmmakers working today and he is going to take audiences on a visually-thrilling journey like they’ve never experienced before.”
Since August 1969, foolish mortals have dared to trespass on the macabre grounds of Disney’s Haunted Mansion. A hallowed landmark in Disneyland’s New Orleans square, it’s the dwelling place of 999 happy haunts dying to meet new visitors each day. The plantation-style of the mansion’s facade is a sweet deception for visitors. Inside, ghostly doom buggies line the hallways. Since its construction, the mysteries of the mansion have transcended the attraction with stories surfacing about horrifying encounters with the supernatural. Versions of the daunting edifice have been built at other Disney theme parks in Orlando, Tokyo and Paris.
No timeframe was given as to when production would begin.