Way back in 2010 at San Diego Comic-Con it was announced that Guillermo del Toro was to helm a HAUNTED MANSION film for Disney. As you can imagine the hype for this was large and well intended because that is an absolute dream pairing. Like many dreams though it never actually materialized in reality and here we are in 2019 with nothing moving forward on that project while GDT is now a household name after earning Best Picture and Best Director honors at 2018’s Academy Awards for THE SHAPE OF WATER.
So what happened? It’s not as if GDT went into hiding after the Mansion announcement. It was even bolstered a bit by the news that Ryan Gosling would be involved in the production in April of 2015 by Variety. Since 2010 del Toro has directed PACIFIC RIM, CRIMSON PEAK, THE SHAPE OF WATER, earned writing credit on THE HOBBIT TRILOGY (which he was first slated to direct) and recently produced SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK. Again we ask, what happened?
Answer. He kinda made his own HAUNTED MANSION film? Yes, a question for a question.
I hate assuming what people’s intentions are creatively so while I feel the lines do connect on what I am about to draw, I have no actual way of knowing. Lets just talk about what our eyes tells us.
Disney’s Haunted Mansion is a diamond of creativity and immersion. It surpasses most of what Disney has ever done in their parks and that’s not meant as a backhanded compliment. It shows the longevity and quality of what the Mansion has to offer. There are visuals tied to the attraction that are iconic paired with a musical score that knows no grave. For this we will concentrate on a handful of the visuals though and even the plot itself as given to you by the attraction. You will read MANY interpretations of what the full story of the Haunted Mansion is but I will stick with what the current attraction tells us in Walt Disney World.
In older interviews while discussing the film aspirations of Haunted Mansion, del Toro said “It’s not just a regular world with a Haunted Mansion plopped in the middle. I am really thinking of a movie that has a heightened reality.” That could give the impression of a period piece. Something where the structure of the Mansion can live comfortably without having to square peg it. If we look at his work since the distant Comic-Con announcement, one film stands out quite noticeably when it comes to creepy mansions and ghosts. 2015’s CRIMSON PEAK