Tiffany Haddish and LaKeith Stanfield in Talks to Star in Disney's 'Haunted Mansion' Reboot
Two actors are gearing up to visit The Haunted Mansion. Justin Simien is helming a new movie based on the popular Disney attraction, and we’ve learned that Tiffany Haddish and LaKeith Stanfield are in talks to join the cast. Stanfield would play a widower-turned-tour guide, while Haddish would play a psychic who can contact the dead. This is Disney’s second attempt to turn the attraction into a film – Eddie Murphy starred in a Haunted Mansion movie back in 2003. That movie wasn’t exactly a flop, but it didn’t inspire anywhere near the positive reaction of Disney’s other 2003 theme park ride-turned film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
THR has a report that Tiffany Haddish and LaKeith Stanfield are in talks to join the Haunted Mansion reboot cast. The report says the film will follow “a family that moves into the titular mansion,” with Stanfield playing “a widower who once believed in the supernatural but is now a rather lifeless tour guide in New Orleans’s French Quarter,” and Haddish portraying a “psychic hired to commune with the dead.”
Justin Simien, who helmed Dear White People, is set to direct a screenplay from Katie Dippold. Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich of Rideback are producing and Rideback’s Nick Reynolds is executive producing. It’s unclear what the tone of this new Haunted Mansion will be, but it certainly sounds like it’s shaping up to have comedic elements – which is the same approach the 2003 Eddie Murphy movie took, with not-great results.
While I understand the need to make a Disney movie appeal to wider (translation: family) audiences, there’s a part of me that really wishes a Haunted Mansion movie would tone down the jokes and lean into the horror. I’m not saying we need an ultra-gory R-rated Haunted Mansion horror movie. But there’s a way to balance genuine scares with a more accessible tone. Hell, Disney has done this themselves already, so there’s no reason they can’t try it here. And there’s a chance they might! I have no insider knowledge, I’m just going off assumptions.
The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion attraction resides at Disneyland Park (Disneyland Resort), Magic Kingdom (Walt Disney World Resort), Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Park (Paris), and at Hong Kong Disneyland (it has different names at a few of them, too). The original attraction launched in 1969 at Disneyland, where it resides in New Orleans Square. It’s a spooky, fun ride that takes you through a giant haunted house, and while I’m by no means a theme park guy, I love the Haunted Mansion. I love it so much that I really wish Disney would spend a fortune to franchise it and set up a Haunted Mansion in every state around Halloween time. Would that be extremely costly and probably not turn a profit? Sure! They should do it anyway. They’ve got the money.
While Justin Simien is currently running the show for the new Haunted Mansion movie, he’s not the first filmmaker to gravitate towards the project. For a while there, Guillermo del Toro was interested in making his own Haunted Mansion movie. But like a lot of del Toro dream projects, it never came to pass – although del Toro did get to make a Haunted Mansion movie of his own with Crimson Peak. I like Simien’s work and I’m curious to see what he does with this property, but I’ll always wish del Toro had gotten his chance. Oh well.
Simien and company hope to start shooting their Haunted Mansion movie in Louisiana this fall. No release date has been announced yet.
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