Hop aboard the doom buggy, because Disney is taking a second stab at bringing its spooky Haunted Mansion ride to the big screen. Disney families no doubt remember the 2003 film starring Eddie Murphy as an overworked real estate agent who had to band together with his family to fend off the undead servants at a haunted mansion. In fact, the kid-friendly film has become something of a Halloween classic, but the new Haunted Mansion movie is set to draw even more inspiration from the ride than Murphy’s take on the story did.
Set to be released in 2023, Disney’s Haunted Mansion joins a long line of ride-to-movie adaptations. Other Disney park attractions that have been given the big screen treatment include The Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Tomorrowland. Additionally, the studio recently announced a movie version of Big Thunder Mountain is in the works.
The Haunted Mansion first opened in Disneyland in 1969, and the spooky ride quickly became a popular attraction. This, in turn, led to the ride being added to other Disney parks, including Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris — although each park puts its own spin on the ride’s backstory. But while each park gives the haunted abode a unique setting, in both Disneyland and Disney World, the mansion is rooted in New Orleans history. As a result, the new movie will also take place in New Orleans, where the story can showcase the city’s long fascination with all things paranormal. Add in a star-studded cast, and this Haunted Manion movie has all the makings of a hit.
Read on for everything you need to know about Disney’s second attempt at bringing Haunted Mansion’s scares to the big screen.
Who is in the Haunted Mansion cast?
Haunted Mansion is stacked with stars — including some big names set to take on ghoulish roles. At the center of the film is Rosario Dawson as single mom Gabbie, and Chase Dillon (That Damn Michael Che, The Underground Railroad) as her young son. They’re joined by Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, and LaKeith Stanfield.
On Aug. 2, Entertainment Weekly reported that Jared Leto and Jamie Lee Curtis have also joined the cast in roles that will be familiar to anyone who has taken a spin on the ride. Joker star Leto will play the Hatbox Ghost, a specter who pops up throughout your tour through the mansion. Meanwhile, the original scream queen Curtis will play Madame Leota, a disembodied medium whose head appears in a crystal ball.
What’s the plot of the Haunted Mansion?
The plot of the Haunted Mansion sounds like the perfect mix of spooky fun and family-friendly adventure. When Gabbie and her son move into a New Orleans mansion that’s suspiciously affordable, it doesn’t take long for them to discover why the place was so cheap: It’s teeming with ghosts. Unwilling to give up her expansive new home, Gabbie calls for backup.
Enter Wilson as a priest named Kent; Stanfield’s Ben, a former scientist who became a paranormal expert after the death of his spouse; Haddish as local psychic Harriet; and DeVito as a cantankerous college history professor who knows the mansion’s dark history. The quartet will set about helping Gabbie exorcise her new home, but the ghosts are in no mood to go quietly.
Does the reboot have a director?
Not only does the film have an enviable cast, but it also has one of the hottest up-and-coming directors around. The movie will be helmed by Justin Simien, the writer/director of both the Dear White People film and TV show. Additionally, he directed the horror feature Bad Hair, and he’s attached to the upcoming Flashdance reboot.
Meanwhile, the movie is being written by Katie Dippold, who is known for her comedic scripts. Her credits include The Heat, 2016’s Ghostbusters, and the Amy Schumer-led movie Snatched.
Is the new Haunted Mansion a sequel to the 2003 movie?
There doesn’t appear to be any connection between the 2023 Haunted Mansion and the 2003 movie starring Murphy. While the early ‘00s attempt to turn the ride into a film has become a favorite among Disney fans, it missed the mark with critics (it has a dismal 14% score on Rotten Tomatoes).
Is there a trailer?
Not yet! While production on the film appears to be complete, Disney hasn’t given viewers a peek into the ghoul-filled mansion’s doors just yet.
When will the new Haunted Mansion be released?
The Haunted Mansion will glide into theaters on March 10, 2023.