In 2010, director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) announced at San Diego Comic-Con that he was developing a Haunted Mansion film based on the popular and classic Disneyland attraction. (He also quipped that he was not returning Eddie Murphy’s calls, who starred in a 2003 film based on the attraction.) Since then, we’ve had virtually no word or update on the project – until now.
The Wrap reports that Ryan Gosling (who just had his directorial debut with Lost River) is in talks to star in the film.
Gosling, a former Mouseketeer, is a perfect choice for the film, since he’s a self-admitted lover of Disneyland and even skipped this year’s Oscars to go to the park with del Toro.
This film project is a long time coming and will not only be a dream come true for Disney fans, but also for del Toro himself. When he first announced the film at Comic-Con, he explained how he goes to Disneyland and rides the Haunted Mansion over and over again to think.
According to del Toro himself at the 2010 panel, the film will “be true to the spirit and the art and the aesthetic of the original Imagineers that created the Mansion.” It will also be genuinely scary, unlike the comedic 2003 film.
To get Disney fans excited, del Toro called the project “an E-ticket ride,” harking back to the early days of the theme park when you bought individual tickets for rides, ranked by letters where E-ticket attractions were the biggest and most popular.
Perhaps most exiting for fans is that del Toro said the legendary Hatbox Ghost will be a pivotal character in the film. He was only part of the Disney Parks attraction for a brief time but has earned a cult-like following since then. Is this the character Gosling will play?
At the panel, del Toro said: “It is my biggest hope that we can reintroduce [the Hatbox Ghost] to the ride.”
It seems Disney heard his wish, since Hatbox will return to the Mansion this May (presumably for the park’s 60th birthday).
There’s no news about when the film will start production.
You can next see del Toro’s work with Crimson Peak, coming out on October 6, 2015. He’s also working on Pacific Rim 2, Hellboy 3, Pinocchio (unrelated to Disney), and now The Haunted Mansion.
Are you excited for a Guillermo del Toro film about the Haunted Mansion with Ryan Gosling starring? Do you want to see the Hatbox Ghost? Let us know in the comments!