Disney already tried to make a Haunted Mansion movie once, with Eddie Murphy in the lead of a story about an ambitious realtor who winds up stuck at the ghost-infested house, inspired by the classic Disneyland attraction. The film debuted in 2003 at a time when Disney was really focused on turning their theme parks into big-screen franchises. Sometimes, as with Pirates of the Caribbean, that idea worked. Sometimes, as with The Country Bears or that first Haunted Mansion, it did not.
As hard as it is to believe, that first Haunted Mansion film is now 20 years old. So Disney’s decided to try again with a whole new cast and a similar story. Based on the film’s first trailer, this new version also hews a lot closer to the actual look of the physical mansion than the first movie did. A few sequences could have been shot in the actual ride at the Magic Kingdom they’re close. Take a look for yourself:
I guess if you’re a huge fan of the Haunted Mansion ride — and it is a classic Disneyland staple — maybe you’ll appreciate how carefully they recreated its look here. Otherwise, I don’t know. They tried this concept once and it wasn’t particularly great. (Maybe director Justin Simien, a talented TV and filmmaker, can bring more life — or afterlife — to this one.)
Here is the (new) film’s official synopsis:
Inspired by the classic theme park attraction, “Haunted Mansion” is about a woman and her son who enlist a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help rid their home of supernatural squatters. The film’s producers are Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, with Nick Reynolds and Tom Peitzman serving as executive producers.
Simien himself had this to say about the project:
As a lifelong fan of the Haunted Mansion attraction, I’m beyond excited to share the teaser trailer for our new film adaptation featuring an incredible cast. Our team has worked tirelessly to create a scary, funny and cinematic otherworldly adventure for both new and die-hard fans to enjoy! I can’t wait for audiences to experience this big screen version of the iconic Disney attraction.
There’s a new poster for the movie as well:
Haunted Mansion is scheduled to open in theaters on July 28.
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