Variety reports that Walt Disney Pictures is planning to reboot its stillborn THE HAUNTED MANSION franchise with a new 3-D film, to be developed and directed by Guillermo Del Toro. Disney and Del Toro announced the venture at Comic Con, emphasizing that this version of THE HAUNTED MANSION would be a genuinely scary haunted house movie, not a spoof.
“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,'” he said. “We will make the ‘Haunted Mansion’ the most haunted place on Earth,” he said. “We are not making it a comedy. We will make it scary and fun at the same time. For me, the ‘Mansion’ needs to be the haunted house movie for this generation.”
Disney’s first attempt to launch a franchise based on their famous theme park attraction died a quick death, thanks to the abysmally unfunny THE HAUNTED MANSION (2003), starring Eddie Murphy, which failed to ignite interest in a follow-up, despite a worldwide gross of $182-million. Disney is hoping to recreate the success of their PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies.
Since stepping away from the director’s chair on THE HOBBIT project (two prequels to Peter Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS films), Del Toro has been talking about several projects in various stages of development, leading to speculation about which would in fact be his next directorial effort. At Comic-Con last week, he indicated that he was finalizing a deal on an unnamed project.