The Little Mermaid may have all the Disney live-action buzz, but the studio has another live-action project that will hit the big screen, Haunted Mansion. Let’s dive into the highly-anticipated project that is only six months away.
Haunted Mansion Synopsis
Haunted Mansion follows a doctor and her 9-year-old son, who are looking to start a new life, move into a strangely affordable mansion in New Orleans, only to discover that the place is much more than they bargained for. Desperate for help, they contact a priest, who, in turn, enlists the aid of a widowed scientist-turned failed-paranormal expert, a French Quarter psychic, and a crotchety historian.
Who is playing who?
Here is what is official, Rosario Dawson is playing Gabbie, a single mother who purchases the New Orleans estate, Chase Dillion is playing her son Travis, Owen Wilson is playing Priest Kent, a priest hired to help exorcise the ghosts, Tiffany Haddish is Harriet, a hapless psychic who is hired to speak with the spirits at the Haunted Mansion, Danny Devito is playing the smug professor, Lakeith Stanfield is Ben Matthias, a man who was once an engineer working on a camera that could perceive paranormal activity, but after the death of his wife, his life fell to pieces. Now he’s an unenthusiastic ghost tour guide in the French Quarter of New Orleans who no longer believes in the paranormal.
Jamie Lee Curtis takes on the iconic role of Madame Leota, a psychic medium residing in the Haunted Mansion. Manifesting as a disembodied head inside a misty crystal ball, she is able to send “sympathetic vibrations” to summon ghosts from the spirit world so that the guests may meet them, and join them in their “swinging wake.”
Jared Leto also takes on an attraction favorite, Alistair Crump aka the Hatbox Ghost, who’s origins have really remained a mystery in Disney lore but in the Disneyland attraction have been tied to the bride, where he was implied to have been a suitor to her, his head supposedly fading and returning with each beat of the Bride’s glowing, thudding heart.
Dan Levy and Wynona Ryder also have roles as ghosts, but who they are playing remains a mystery. While we can’t confirm actors at this time, the hitchhiking ghosts and singing busts will also appear in the film and will be filled by big-name actors in cameo roles.
What to expect visually!
Disney has yet to release anything visually for Haunted Mansion officially; however, The DisInsider was in attendance at Disney’s D23 Expo and we were greeted with a first look at the film, which showed off brief looks at some of the ghosts and Madame Leota, and if you’re a fan of how they look in the Disneyland attraction, you will be pleased with what you see. Not to mention, the mansion itself looks great. Also, fans of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and at Walt Disney World, which looks completely different, will be in for quite the surprise.
The film has had multiple test screenings, and according to some insiders who were in attendance, the movie is a lot of fun with some spooks that are sure to get people jumping out of their seats.
DNEG is working on the visual effects and while you might not recognize the name, you definitely know their work, having worked on the VFX for hit films including the Harry Potter franchise, Inception, Mulan, Jungle Cruise, Aladdin, Avengers: Endgame, and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. They are currently working on the VFX for Peter Pan & Wendy, Furiosa, and Borderlands.
While this project isn’t a musical, the movie will bring the iconic sounds and score of the attraction to life. King Richard composer Kris Bowers has been brought on to score the film reteaming him with director Justin Simien following their Hulu horror-comedy Bad Hair.
When is the Haunted Mansion first look Coming?
As previously mentioned, we are still six months away from the film’s release but Disney loves cross-marketing, which makes a ton of sense. I’d expect our first look at the project in May, as The Walt Disney Company has Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Little Mermaid set to release.
Directed by Justin Simien and written by Kate Dippold (Ghostbusters), Haunted Mansion is scheduled to be released on July 28, 2023. Stick with The DisInsider as we continue to cover this project and more from The Walt Disney Company.