Disney Taps Director To Helm ‘The Haunted Mansion’ Reboot

It’s taken Disney nearly 20 years to reboot The Haunted Mansion, but the “renovations” are finally gathering steam.

Justin Simien–the man behind the well-received Dear White People (2014) and last year’s Bad Hair–this week was brought on board to direct the reboot of the 2003 film, as reported by Deadline. The project will center around the long-running popular Haunted Mansion Ride in Disneyland and Disney World.

The remake–written by Katie Dippold (the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot) and produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich–will feature such familiar mansion dwellers as Madame Leota, the skeletal Bride and the cloaked Hatbox Ghost. Reports say the reboot will be “a completely different take as a film that stands on its own.”

This isn’t the first time Disney has tried to revive The Haunted Mansion. Back in 2010, famed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro had visions for a remake–even casting Ryan Gosling in the lead–but that effort fell by the wayside.

The original horror/comedy–directed by Rob Minkoff and starring Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp and Nathaniel Parker–grossed $182 million worldwide on a budget of $90 million, but was not a hit with film critics. In fact, one reviewer called it a “terribly flawed fantastical comedy that neither entertains nor creeps.”

But fans may have better luck with Simien in the director’s chair. Disney reportedly wanted to work with the filmmaker before on other projects before he chose this reboot. Simien wrote, directed and produced Dear White People for the big screen, before Netflix adapted it as a series (with Simien as executive producer). Bad Hair was picked up by Hulu and started streaming last October.

No casting choices or production schedules have been announced at this time, so keep reading Horror News Network for all updates on this reboot of The Haunted Mansion.


Thomas Tuna
Thomas A. Tuna is a comic book veteran who began his writing career back in the ’70s with Charlton Comics, contributing to such horror titles as Ghost Manor, Haunted, The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves and Ghostly Haunts. Most recently, he has served as a writer and editor (with more than a smattering of horror yarns) for such comic book websites as Hyper Epics and Red Moon Features. Some of his favorite horror flicks include Jaws, Salem’s Lot, Dracula (with Frank Langella) and Blade. His favorite horror comic books? Tomb of Dracula (by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan) and Swamp Thing (by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson).

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