Disney and Guillermo del Toro to take darker look at Haunted Mansion film

Breaking news out of Comic-Con:

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.

Attraction poster for the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in Anaheim CAWhile some may wonder if another stab at scaring up business for a Haunted Mansion-based film is worthwhile, at least del Toro has the horror cred and creative sensibility to give the 999 ghosts a better chance at entertaining and chilling audiences than the Eddie Murphy-starring stiff did in 2003.

To Disney and Guillermo, here’s five cents worth of free advice from FilmEdge: please make this new reboot a film based on the spirit of the classic Disney theme park attraction, and not a PIRATE-tized action-comedy loaded with special effects but empty as a tomb when it comes to story and characters.  Expand upon Walt’s original inspiration with his Imagineers like X Atencio, Marc Davis and Yale Gracey among many others.  The basis of a classic haunted house tale has had fans returning to pay their respects in Anaheim for over four decades now, and they never tire of this ingenious blend of illusion, atmosphere and good old-fashioned storytelling.  The bones are handed to you, please bring them to life in a fitting tribute to this themed entertainment gem or please don’t bother raising our hopes and spirits at all.

Demonstrate your heart is in the right place on this one and FilmEdge will enthusiastically cover your Haunted Mansion movie like a custom-fitted shroud.  Please keep in touch via Madame Leota’s seance circle for more.

New Haunted Mansion logo artwork released by Disney with Comic-Con announcement

New Haunted Mansion logo artwork released by Disney with Comic-Con announcement


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