In July of 2010, Disney announced that Guillermo del Toro would be developing a new film of Disney’s HAUNTED MANSION. Disney and horror fans rejoiced, as this seemed like this would be a delightful and dark match made in heaven (or hell, depending on your point of view). Del Toro has a reputation for his distinct visual style and his ability to tell stories that are both whimsical and frightening, like the modern equivalent of Grimm’s fairy tales. Del Toro is known for being able to thrill and terrify audiences with images of a grotesque monster that eats children chasing a little girl, make them laugh watching a drunk Hellboy sing karaoke, and make them cheer as a giant robot punches a giant monster in the face. If there was any filmmaker that could somehow makeup for the 2003 HAUNTED MANSION film, the consensus from the film going public is that del Toro seems to the one to do it.
However, five years later the movie still seems to be stuck in perpetual development hell, with rumors only popping up every now and again, only to fizzle out as other projects from Disney and del Toro seemed to take precedent, putting HAUNTED MANSION on the backburner time and time again. However, on April 9th 2015, The Wrap reported that Ryan Gosling is currently in talks to star in del Toro’s film. The two have reportedly been spending a lot of time together, as del Toro moderated a panel for Gosling’s film LOST RIVER at SXSW. The two were also seen together at Disneyland over Oscar weekend (and yes, they rode several rides, including The Haunted Mansion). As exciting as this news is, this is a project that after five years still hasn’t gotten off the ground. D.V. DeVincentis is reported to currently be working on the script. The concern many moviegoers have is that even if both Gosling and del Toro are onboard to make the film, that after five years of waiting the project will lose steam yet again without a finished script; the HAUNTED MANSION will return to the backburner while Gosling and del Toro move on to other projects. Given the amount of time we’ve been waiting for this film, Disney, horror, and Gosling fans alike can choose to indulge in the thought of grim grinning ghosts coming out to socialize, but I think I’ll wait until an official trailer is released before I hop onto the DoomBuggy bandwagon.
~ Megan Salinas
Follow me on Twitter at: @themenguin