At Comic-Con in 2010 director Guillermo del Toro announced that he would be developing a new live-action adaptation of the classic Disney ride, The Haunted Mansion. This is a project a lot of fans have been incredibly excited about. There have been a few updates here and there over the years, but it's still in the scriptwriting phase of development. During a recent AMA on Reddit the filmmaker offered an update on the project and revealed where it currently stands.
"[T]wo weeks ago, I went back to Disneyland with the executives with whom I am developing the screenplay," says del Toro. "It's a hard screenplay to crack. We've done it a few times. We are on our third or fourth draft, with 2 different writing teams, and I think the main thing is to try to combine everything that is great about the ride into the movie, and to make it a really intense but with a sense of fun - just like the ride."
As of right now Del Toro is attached as the writer and producer, but he's not ruling out the possibility of directing.
"It is a movie I would love to direct, but I would be happy to just produce it if the timing is not right."
I hope the Del Toro can direct it, but if he can't I hope he brings on a great director to take the reins. The story they are developing is said to be built around the Hatbox Ghost in the theme park attraction, and it seems like frequent collaborator Doug Jones is the frontrunner for the part.
"We have developed 50-60 pieces of art. We've developed maquettes of the Hat Box Ghost, over the body and face of Doug Jones, but we have not succeeded yet in cracking the screenplay. I have to believe that Disney will make this movie as soon as we crack the screenplay, but until then we cannot tackle it... We always feel like we are very close, but not yet."
Jones is the perfect actor to play the Hatbox Ghost, and I can't wait to see the designs Del Toro and his team came up with for the character.