I don’t usually follow news out of Comic-Con but yesterday a piece of information made its way out of San Diego that I couldn’t help but find interesting: director Guillermo del Toro announced that he is on board to write and produce a new film based on the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.
But Heather, you’re thinking, there already is a movie based on that ride. It stars Eddie Murphy, and like most of his movies, is a big steaming pile of poop.
Well, you’re correct. But, if del Toro has his way, this movie will be the complete opposite of that one — in a word, it will be scary. And in case you’re still skeptical, del Toro says that “We’re being true to the original art and aesthetic of the original Imagineers who created the mansion. We are not returning Eddie Murphy’s calls.” Works for me.
Also of particular interest to fans of the Haunted Mansion is the fact that the film is purported to center around a long-lost character from the attraction called The Hatbox Ghost. According to Mansion-specific site DoomBuggies:
Standing to the right of the Doom Buggies near the attic window, where the Bride had been standing (until she was replaced at Disneyland in 2006), was an elderly ghost in a cloak and top hat, leaning on a cane with a wavering hand and clutching a hatbox in the other. As the Bride’s heart would beat, this “Hatbox Ghost’s” head would disappear from his body, and appear in the hatbox he held in his hand.
Sadly, the effect never quite worked properly, so the figure was removed almost immediately after the Mansion opened. He later became part of the legend of the Haunted Mansion, garnering his own fanatics, including, apparently, Guillermo del Toro.
I’m excited for this movie. Yeah, so the “Pirates” movies are pretty terrible, and that first Haunted Mansion movie was ridiculous, but with a respected filmmaker like del Toro on board, as long as Disney stays out the way, it stands a good chance of being a success.
What say you? Do you think this movie will be great, or is del Toro wasting his (and our) time? If the movie does turn out to be great, what other Disneyland attractions would you like to see get the celluloid treatment?