The “Pacific Rim” director has tapped Gosling for a leading role in his adaptation of the popular Disneyland ride, which has been in development for a long time. Del Toro initially announced plans for “The Haunted Mansion” at San Diego Comic Con in 2010, saying that he wants it to be a scary, live-action 3D movie set in “a heightened reality.”
In a Reddit AMA last fall, the director continued, “It’s a hard screenplay to crack. We’ve done it a few times. We are on our third or fourth draft, with 2 different writing teams, and I think the main thing is to try to combine everything that is great about the ride into the movie, and to make it a really intense but with a sense of fun – just like the ride… I have to believe that Disney will make this movie as soon as we crack the screenplay, but until then we cannot tackle it… We always feel like we are very close, but not yet.”
So basically, you can expect this version to be preeeeeetty different than the “Haunted Mansion” adaptation starring Eddie Murphy in 2003. That family-friendly fantasy bombed in theaters, but with del Toro and Gosling at the helm, this new version sounds much more promising.
The duo have been leaving breadcrumbs hinting at a collaboration for months. In February, they were spotted riding a bunch of rides at Disneyland together (which we can now assume was research), and last month, del Toro moderated a filmmaking panel with Gosling at South by Southwest.
If it seems like a weird undertaking to create an entire movie around a theme park ride, just remember that’s exactly what Disney did with “Pirates of the Caribbean.” And because that series is currently filming its fifth sequel, we’re basically expecting “The Haunted Mansion” to turn into a multi-movie blockbuster smash that will give us plenty more Gos for plenty more years.