Are you brave enough to enter this star-studded scare ride?
Thu, 18 May 2023 at 3:11 pm BST
After a lengthy gestation period and a number of near-starts, Disney’s Haunted Mansion reboot is officially out of its coffin and lurching its way towards screens.
Based on the popular Disneyland ride of the same name, the film is one of the studio’s latest live-action offerings and marks the attraction’s second big-screen adaptation following a 2003 version starring Eddie Murphy.
How will 2023’s take differ from what we’ve seen before?
Read on for more details about the plot, cast, trailer and release date for Disney’s new Haunted Mansion movie…
Haunted Mansion remake release date
Disney’s new Haunted Mansion remake will be materialising in cinemas from Friday, 28 July.
The reboot comes 20 years after the release of 2003’s The Haunted Mansion starring Eddie Murphy, which was a critical flop but a box-office hit.
The House of Mouse has been planning the new film for more than a decade. Back in 2010, Pans Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro was attached to the project, in what would’ve surely been the perfect pairing of filmmaker and story.
Known for his visionary style and fondness for practical effects, del Toro teased that his version would be based in a “heightened reality” and offer “a thrill ride for the whole family” and something that’s “definitely going to be scary.”
The Pacific Rim filmmaker continued to work on the project and oversee a number of different scripts until 2013 when it was revealed that he had dropped out on directing duties but would stay attached as its Executive Producer and co-writer.
The movie’s pre-production continued, with Ryan Gosling circling the project before Disney made the decision that del Toro’s take was a little too scary for younger viewers and ultimately returned to the drawing board.
Kate Dippold, writer of 2016’s Ghostbusters: Answer The Call and various episodes of Parks and Recreation was hired to retool the script in 2020 and Dear White People filmmaker Justin Simien signed on to direct a year later.
Haunted Mansion plot
Much like the plot of Disney’s 2003 edition, 2023’s Haunted Mansion follows a family that moves into a new home in New Orleans that’s sadly already occupied by the undead.
According to the reboot’s official IMDB synopsis, we’ll meet Gabby, a single mum who moves into the film’s titular haunted house with her nine-year-old son and proceeds to hire a tour guide, a priest, a psychic and a historian to help rid it of unwanted spectres.
As with every cinematic interaction of the Haunted Mansion, we can expect to see many characters and moments that originally appeared in the popular Disneyland attraction throughout Simien’s movie, including the iconic Hatbox Ghost.
“There was something about that ride that I felt was there in the script,” Simien explained during last year’s D23 Expo. “I wanted to be sure all the Easter eggs are there because I’m a nerd.”
Haunted Mansion cast
Rosario Dawson takes the leading role as single mother Gabby, with newcomer Chase W. Dillon playing her young son Travis.
Joining the duo is an ensemble cast that features a host of famous names, including Owen Wilson as Kent the priest, Tiffany Haddish as psychic Harriet, Danny DeVito as historian Bruce, LaKeith Stanfield as Ben, a supernatural tour guide and Jamie Lee Curtis as clairvoyant floating-head spirit Madame Leota.
Meanwhile, viewers can expect to see a host of additional star faces pop up throughout this haunted romp, including Jared Leto as the top hat-wearing Hatbox Ghost.
Beetlejuice 2 and Stranger Things star Winona Ryder and Schitt’s Creek’s Dan Levy are also due to make cameo appearances but details on who or what they’ll play are still under wraps.
Haunted Mansion trailer
A teaser trailer was released earlier this year and showed us LaKeith Stanfield’s Ben reluctantly taking on the job as the Haunted Mansion’s official tour guide.
Later, in mid-May, Disney released the first full trailer, giving us a better look at the thrill ride that Simien has cooked up and Leto’s Hatbox Ghost.