The Haunted Mansion remake is beginning to find new life at Disney. Director Justin Simien (Dear White People) has been targeted by the studio to helm the feature based on the popular attraction from the company's theme parks. It has been a hugely popular destination for years at Disneyland and Disney World. If all goes well, it will also be coming to a theater near you in the not-too-distant future.
According to a new report, Justin Simien is in talks to direct The Haunted Mansion for Disney. It is said that the studio has wanted to work with the filmmaker for some time and has met with him for other projects in the past. Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who helped turn the Aladdin remake into a $1 billion hit, are producing. Nick Reynolds is on board as an executive producer.
Plot details are currently being kept under wraps. It is, however, stressed that this is a vastly different movie than the 2003 version of The Haunted Mansion, which starred Eddie Murphy. Kate Dippold (Ghostbusters) penned the most recent version of the screenplay. For those who may not be familiar with the attraction, park goers take a trip through an old, haunted manor. Disney describes it as follows.
"Dearly depart into a foreboding estate, drag your body to the dead center of the Portrait Chamber and watch as the walls begin to stretch before your eyes. Climb into your waiting Doom Buggy and embark on a shivering journey into an unearthly realm. The disembodied voice of the Ghost Host is your private guide through the cadaverous dwelling, home to grinning ghosts and other spectral surprises. Glide past a rattling casket in the conservatory. Head off to Madame Leota's spooky séance room. Float by the Grand Ballroom and its waltzing apparitions. Take a spin through a cemetery where the spirited residents regale you with song. Beware of lurking hitchhikers, these phantom pranksters may try to follow you home!"
Justin Simien has very much been on the rise in recent years. His 2014 feature Dear White Peoplehelped put him on the map. It was subsequently turned into a successful and acclaimed show by Netflix. More recently, Simien directed the acclaimed Bad Hair. Also on the Disney front, by way of Lucasfilm, he has been set as one of the writers of the Lando series, which is one of the many Star Wars shows currently in development for Disney+.
The Haunted Mansion was previously adapted for the screen by director Rob Minkoff. That version was modestly successful, taking in $182 million worldwide against a reported $90 million budget. But Disney sees this as something that can potentially have Pirates of the Caribbean levels of success in the right hands. For the record, that franchise has, to date, earned more than $4.5 billion at the global box office, with further movies on the way. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Deadline.