New Disney live-action “Haunted Mansion” movie to be led by Guillermo del Toro

in Disney, Movies, Theme Parks

Thousands of fans who cringed at the original live-action Eddie Murphy comedy based on Disney’s Haunted Mansion attraction will finally get a chance to see the movie the classic dark ride deserves.

At the San Diego Comic Con today, Disney Pictures announced that director Guillermo del Toro will helm a new movie based on The Haunted Mansion. It will be live action and not a comedy.

In addition, it was revealed that fabled Hatbox Ghost character will be included as a “pivotal character” in the film – a fanboy’s dream.

At last year’s D23 Expo, del Toro announced a partnership to bring scary-but-fun films to Disney under the title “Disney Double Dare You.” It’s unclear if this new Haunted Mansion film will be part of that line, but based on del Toro’s past haunting films like Pan’s Labyrinth, this new Mansion-based movie should be quite a ride – pun intended!

Let me just say: Disney and del Toro – THANK YOU.

Update #2: A bouncy recording of the short teaser video for this film shown at the San Diego Comic Con has popped up on YouTube. Here it is (while it lasts):

Update: Here are the press release along with artwork and a couple photos. Be sure to click the “HM” plaque artwork for a BIG version!

It should be emphasized from the release below that it states del Toro will be writing and producing the film, but not necessarily directing it.

Del Toro Set to Write and Produce Film for Disney

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – July 22, 2010 – Guillermo del Toro surprised the 6,500 fans gathered today at Comic-Con with the announcement that he is currently developing a new film for The Walt Disney Studios based on the classic Disney theme park attraction, The Haunted Mansion.

“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.

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