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‘The Haunted Mansion’: Guillermo del Toro Provides an Update on His Spooky Disney Movie

Disney

It’s been about four years since Guillermo del Toro and Disney announced that they were developing a film based on ‘The Haunted Mansion,’ the classic Disney theme park attraction, but today the director has offered an update on the long-gestating project — and the good news is that it’s definitely still happening.

Guillermo del Toro participated in a Reddit AMA this evening, where he was asked about the status of ‘The Haunted Mansion,’ a passion project of his that was first announced back at Comic-Con in 2010. And although he’s one of the busiest directors around, worry not — ‘The Haunted Mansion’ is still very much on the table. Here’s what he had to say:

Two weeks ago, I went back to Disneyland with the executives with whom I am developing the screenplay. 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.

Del Toro adds that while he’s definitely still producing the film, he’s unsure if he’ll be available to direct, and adds that he “would be happy to just produce it if the timing is not right.”

The film is said to center around the attraction’s Hatbox Ghost, which — judging by this answer from Del Toro — will likely be played by ‘Hellboy’ star Doug Jones:

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.

Del Toro’s new television series, ‘The Strain,’ premieres this Sunday on FX, and his new horror film, ‘Crimson Peak,’ is slated to hit theaters in 2015. He’s also currently working on a ‘Pacific Rim’ sequel, and is involved in the animated series and comic books, as well. And (!) he still hasn’t given up hope on making his other passion project, ‘At the Mountains of Madness,’ making him one awfully busy guy. But at least we know ‘The Haunted Mansion’ is still in play.

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