At the close of the “Tron Legacy” panel today at San Diego Comic Con, moderator Patton Oswalt made the surprise announcement that Walt Disney Studios were developing a new film adaptation of their theme park attraction “The Haunted Mansion”.
The response was confused and tepid, after all many remember the studio’s utterly disastrous previous attempt in 2003 as a family comedy starring Eddie Murphy. An animated teaser promo graphic with a voiceover by Ian McShane was followed by Oswalt introducing the director of the new version – Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Hellboy”)
When del Toro walked on stage, what had been a muted response from the 6,500-strong Hall H crowd became notably more enthusiastic. A Q&A followed during which del Toro stated his intent to not do the film as a comedy but as an “E-Ticket ride…scary, but fun”.
del Toro is adamant that the family film has to keep the dark imagery of the ride and be ready to scare the little ones. He also confirmed the character of the Hatbox Ghost on the ride will play a key role.