Thursday, April 9, 2015

Doing It Right: Progress Made on 'Haunted Mansion'?

After such a frustrating and infuriating slew of live-action remake news from the Mouse House, this tidbit surprisingly surfaced...

Yes, according to all the major publications, Ryan Gosling is circling Guillermo del Toro's film based on the beloved Disney parks attraction The Haunted Mansion. A more comedic film based on the ride was made twelve years ago, starring Eddie Murphy, but it wasn't very good, and it came and went. Where was our legitimate, scary Haunted Mansion movie?

Guillermo del Toro is the perfect director to give this attraction the movie love it deserves, and he's made it clear that this Haunted Mansion film won't be like the Eddie Murphy film, and that it'll certainly be pretty scary for the young'uns. Problem is, corporate Disney seems all too content with having WDP's upcoming slate be nothing but live-action remakes of the company's iconic animated classics... Because Buzzfeed wants them. But if the reports are true, then it shows that this film might end up coming to fruition after all. Is Disney perhaps waiting to see how Tomorrowland will do before they forge ahead with films based on attractions (that aren't Pirates of the Caribbean) at the parks? Or anything that isn't a reimagining of an animated classic? After this fall's Crimson Peak, del Toro will move on and direct Pacific Rim 2, which is set for April 2017. Let's say that wraps up sometime in January/February 2017, del Toro can then do Haunted Mansion next and that could be released in 2018! Hopefully!

Del Toro has written an incomplete script a while back, and the project was announced at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con, so it's been around for a while. D.V. DeVincentis, of High Fidelity and Grosse Point Blank fame, is now one of the writers of the script. Why Disney didn't get to it earlier is a good question. Maybe del Toro was too busy with other projects? He certainly had Pacific Rim ahead of him at the time, and producing roles on several other films. He has a ton of projects lined up, too... Ones that probably won't happen for a while. However, he seems to be building a relationship with Universal now that Legendary Pictures is under their wing and films like Pacific Rim 2 will surely get better marketing than what WB coughed up.

Even though Disney is technically not doing anything that original with a new film based on The Haunted Mansion, I'd argue that it's a step in the right direction given what the live-action studio is currently saddled with. Outside of Tomorrowland, no originals are in sight. It's either live-action reimaginings of their animated classics, or sequels to recent live-action hits (I'm personally looking forward to TRON 3, though). The slate is mostly boring and stale, so this will add some much-needed spice to it. Plus, the 2003 Haunted Mansion film wasn't very good, so del Toro is going to give us the Haunted Mansion film we deserve. I'd say that this is necessary, given the direction the creative team want to go with the project.

In short, I'll gladly take this. Anytime. Especially in a time where Disney Live-Action is only making live-action reimaginings of their animated classics. You know, trying to top pigs with pigs. Something Walt himself warned against...

So... Does it move forward? Or will the Disney brass say "no" in the end and greenlight yet another live-action remake/reimagining of a Disney animated classic?

I'll seriously give them massive points if they do the former...

1 comment:

  1. fyi, this is technically a gritty remake of the original Haunted Mansion film by Eddie Murphy.