Del Toro creating Disney's Haunted Mansion
Guillermo del Toro looks set to work on a new project with Disney, and it looks like it's going to be the first film made after his exit from The Hobbit. Announced at Comic-Con, he will co-write, produce, and maybe even direct the film which will bring to life the Disney ride for the big screen.
Yes, for all you people complaining about adaptations of video games, well this one is based on a theme park ride. Mind you, what it does allow is for a lot of creativity working around a framework of a story developed for the ride itself.
Guillermo del Toro and writer Matthew Robbins will tackle the script together, they previously wrote Mimic together and the as yet unreleased Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. The directing aspect won't be decided upon until nearer the time and the other projects on his slate are weighed up against each other.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision he revealed that Disney were very excited about him working on the project, as was he, mainly down to the fact that he's a huge fan of the ride. Apparently he has a lot of information from the original ride including original artwork from the design, and he frequently steps on the ride itself to clear his head.
While some of that sounds like hype, the whole idea could be quite good. From what we know of the ride there are currently three at the Disneyland parks around the world, one in California, one in Paris and the other in Tokyo.
You can read loads of information about the rides, or rather shows, over at Wikipedia who even have comparisons between the different settings. However the article tells us that the film version will use the idea that the mansion has nine hundred and ninety-nine haunts with nine hundred and ninety-nine ghosts, and del Toro tells us that the Hatbox Ghost will be at the centre of the film.
"There are several mansions around the world and he is the spider in the center of the web of these mansions around the world...He will be a pivotal figure in the screenplay."
Apparently the ghost is dressed in a cloak and top hat and his head disappears and reappears in a hatbox that the ghost carries.
It also seems that del Toro will return to some of those original drawings to help stylise the world and the mansion for the film and bring it into the modern day. I like the fact that they won't just be relying on the existing rides that are there, although there will be pressure to include a lot from them for marketing purposes.
Mind you, being Disney, this has to be a film for families, so it has to be scary but also fun, and has to cater for all ages. Now that's something I think Guillermo del Toro can do nicely, don't you? Sounds an interesting project.