Del Toro to Tackle ‘Haunted Mansion’ Reboot

News from Comic-Con: The “Pan’s Labyrinth” director will make a “fun, scary” version of the film in 3D

Last Updated: July 23, 2010 @ 3:25 PM

UPDATE:

Latinoreview.com gets word from The Bull himself: He's "developing" the film, not necessarily directing … but will announce his next directing gig in a week or so.

EARLIER:

Now we know in part why Guillermo Del Toro left "The Hobbit": The director announced at Comic-Con on Thursday that his next project is to reboot "The Haunted Mansion" for Disney as a live-action, 3D feature.

"It's going to be scary, but it's going to be fun," Del Toro announced at Hall H as hundreds were filing out of Disney's "TRON: Legacy" panel.

The main character, he said, would be the hatbox ghost (below). He cautioned that the film would frighten — does this guy have it in him not to? — but that it would still be a good time.

"If you take the children, they will scream," he said. 

Del Toro says he's been a fan of the Disney franchise since he first encountered it as a theme-park ride.

"I have my own 'Haunted Mansion' room … I always felt that it told such stories without having to be done solely as a horror film — it's live action, it's in 3D … and we are doing it by being true to the art and the spirit of the original imagineers."

He was not such a fan, however, of the 2003 version of the film.

"We are not returning Eddie Murphy's calls," he quipped.

Del Toro left the director's chair of "The Hobbit" in light of the ongoing production delays related to the sale of MGM, the filmmaker and executive producer Peter Jackson said on May 30.

Del Toro will continue to co-write the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel.

Update:

In a Disney-released statement Thursday, Del Toro said: “Dark imagery is an integral part of the Walt Disney legacy. After all, Disney himself was the father of some really chilling moments and characters – think Chernabog from 'Fantasia' or Maleficent the Dragon or the Evil Queen in 'Snow White.' I couldn't be more excited to be a part of my own adaptation of the original theme park attraction Walt envisioned and that remains — for me — the most desirable piece of real estate in the whole world!"

“Millions of people from around the world visit the Haunted Mansion each year, but no one has ever had a tour guide like Guillermo del Toro,” Rich Ross, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, said in a statement. “Guillermo is one of the most gifted and innovative filmmakers working today and he is going to take audiences on a visually thrilling journey like they’ve never experienced before.”

Josh Dickey is tweeting like crazy from Comic-Con at http://twitter.com/JoshDickey. Follow him.

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