A few years ago, photos went viral of director Guillermo del Toro and actor Ryan Gosling hanging out together at the Disneyland Resort in California. Rumor had it the pair were working on a film based on del Toro’s favorite ride, the Haunted Mansion. Eventually, though, that idea went away—and you had to wonder: if Guillermo del Toro and Ryan Gosling couldn’t get a new Haunted Mansion movie made, who could?
The answer, it seems, is now upon us. Deadline reports that hot off the heels of Loki star Owen Wilson joining the film, now Ahsoka Tano herself, Rosario Dawson, is joining Disney’s latest Haunted Mansion film, along with previously announced cast members LaKeith Stanfield (Atlanta) and Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip). Justin Simien (Dear White People) is directing from a script by Katie Dippold (The Heat).
There’s no word on who any of these legitimately great actors will be playing, nor what angle Dippold and Simien will be taking with the classic Disney attraction. But whatever it is, filming will reportedly begin in October—an appropriately spooky month for what we assume will be a mildly spooky film.
Opening in 1969 in California before expanding across the globe, the Haunted Mansion was one of Walt Disney’s great visions, though he never got to see it. Guests take a “Doom Buggy” on a slow ride through a gorgeously decorated mansion filled with all manner of ghosts and goblins, with stories to go with them. Eddie Murphy starred in a film adaptation of the ride back in 2003 but most people, rightfully, try and forget that. One would imagine this version of Haunted Mansion will have a bit more scope and adventure, maybe taking a page from Disney’s most recent hit based on a theme park ride, Jungle Cruise.
Whatever happens, one has a feeling that actors like Dawson, Wilson, Stanfield, and Haddish wouldn’t sign on for movie with this level of cultural recognition without feeling confident in it. That face, and that the movie is actually happening at all, make us much more excited about the potential here.
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