One of the most exciting news items coming out of Comic-Con this year was that Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro will direct a live-action feature based on Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction. The well-respected Mexican helmer said that he believes the Mansion to be one of the most precious pieces of real estate on Earth. ‘I went to Disneyland when I was three years old, when I was a little lump of fat,’ he told the excited audience gathered in Hall H of Comic-Con. ‘I’ve been there at least once a year. It’s one of those places that I go to when I need to think, relax and unwind.’
Del Toro said he treasures the original art created for the attraction by Marc Davis. ‘The Imagineers created such a unique flavor for it.,’ he noted. ‘We are doing the live-action movie in 3-D and we’ll make it the most haunted place on Earth. We want to be true to the spirit, art and aesthetic of the original. We are not making a comedy! We’re not returning Eddie Murphy’s call. We are re-introducing the mythology, and the Hatbox Ghost who is one of the scariest creatures, but he is also whimsical. He will be the pivotal character. If you take the children, they will scream, and you have to hold their hands! It will be good for them! I hope to steal every prop from the movie!’
A hallowed landmark in Disneyland’s New Orleans square,since 1969, Haunted Mansion has been the dwelling place of 999 happy haunts dying to meet new visitors each day. Versions of the mansion have also been built at other Disney theme parks in Orlando, Tokyo and Paris.
As panel host Patton Oswalt remarked, ‘Just imagine the guy who made Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone having free rein over Haunted Mansion!’