Following the announcement that a new film based on the classic Haunted Mansion attraction was finally moving forward, new details on the production have just come to light.
According to The Illuminerdi, Disney is looking at Tiffany Haddish for a key role in the film. If cast, Haddish would play a character named Harriet, a psychic that is hired to speak with the spirits at the Haunted Mansion.
The Illuminerdi has also revealed some exclusive plot information. The plot will revolve around “Gabbie, a single mother, and her young son [who] recently purchased a New Orleans estate [the Haunted Mansion] at auction only to discover it isn’t quite as empty as they expected.”
“Gabbie hires a grieving widower who works as a ghost tour guide [Ben Matthias], a psychic [Harriet], a priest, and a local historian to exorcise the vengeful spirit from the Haunted Mansion.”
Disney is interested in LaKeith Standfield for the role of Ben Matthias, though nothing is confirmed as of yet.
Interestingly, nothing here indicates that any existing characters such as Master Gracey, Madame Leota, or the Hatbox Ghost will be appearing in the film. However, this could easily change.
This new take on The Haunted Mansion will be directed by Justin Simien (Bad Hair), with a script written by Katie Dippold (Ghostbusters). It will be produced through the Rideback production company by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirish (live-action Aladdin). Production is expected to begin this October in Atlanta, GA and is planned to be a theatrical release.
This version of the story will mark the second time the attraction makes its way to the big screen, following the 2003 film. Directed by Rob Minkoff (The Lion King), 2003’s The Haunted Mansion received negative reviews and has long remained all-but ignored by The Walt Disney Company.
This will also depart from the long-awaiting Guillermo Del Toro version, which was to be written and directed by the filmmaker, with a story centered on the Hatbox Ghost.