Since the Eddie Murphy disaster, it feels like there have been about 999 tries to adapt iconic Disney ride The Haunted Mansion into a movie. If so, maybe lucky 1,000 will be the ticket.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Disney has hired writer Katie Dippold to pen a new script based on the ride about the spooky mansion in which 999 ghosts reside, and you may be number 1,000. If you didn’t get the reference above.
Dippold was a writer on Mad TV and Parks and Recreation before graduating to features like The Heat and Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. Both of those films did a very good job of balancing action and humour, which is almost certainly a factor in her hiring. Producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who made the Aladdin remake, are also on board.
Since the 2003 Eddie Murphy film (which sports a putrid 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes), Disney has made numerous attempts to adapt the popular ride into a four-quadrant hit a la Pirates of the Caribbean. Most famously, Haunted Mansion superfan Guillermo del Toro had been developing an idea with Ryan Gosling attached but it never materialised. There’s no word on what Dippold’s take will do differently than previous ones, but fingers crossed she can crack the case.
The Haunted Mansion opened at Disneyland in 1969 and remains a crowd favourite today. Guests take a “Doom Buggy” on a slow ride through a gorgeously decorated mansion filled with ghosts and goblins of all shapes and sizes. Some of the characters, like Madame Leota and the Hitchhiking Ghosts, have even made their way into popular culture. There’s just a treasure trove of material to work with and it’s all just begging for a redo on the big screen.