You must be this dead to ride! Disney dropped the spoOoOky first trailer for “Haunted Mansion” on Thursday. The supernatural family comedy based on the beloved Disney Parks attraction hits theaters on July 28.
The trailer promises mild thrills and big laughs in equal measure, with special effects-heavy action setpieces mixing with jokes like an ax-wielding Owen Wilson vowing to kill ghosts “deader,” much to the consternation of his compatriots.
Rosario Dawson stars as Gabbie, a single mother who moves into an extremely run-down fixer-upper manor in New Orleans with her 9-year-old son, Travis (Chase Dillon). And as is usually the case with creepy old mansions in New Orleans, it is absolutely infested with ghosts. She enlists the help of a priest named Kent (Wilson), who assembles an overmatched crew that includes paranormal expert Ben (LaKeith Stanfield), psychic Harriet (Tiffany Haddish), and history professor Bruce (Danny DeVito). Together, they try to exorcise the house of the panoply of poltergeists that have taken up residence. The cast also includes Winona Ryder, Dan Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jared Leto as the Hatbox Ghost, a famous character from the ride.
The film is directed by Justin Simien (“Dear White People”), from a script by Katie Dippold (“Ghostbusters” 2016). According to Variety, Simien used to work at Disneyland and would ride the Haunted Mansion during his breaks. So it’s a personal project for him.
“As a lifelong fan of the Haunted Mansion attraction, I’m beyond excited to share the teaser trailer for our new film adaptation featuring an incredible cast,” Simien said in a statement. “Our team has worked tirelessly to create a scary, funny and cinematic otherworldly adventure for both new and die-hard fans to enjoy! I can’t wait for audiences to experience this big screen version of the iconic Disney attraction.”
This is the third project based on the attraction. The movie “The Haunted Mansion” came out in 2003 and stars Eddie Murphy. The Disney+ Halloween special “The Muppets Haunted Mansion” followed in 2021. The new “Haunted Mansion” is part of Disney’s renewed push to mine its theme park attractions for content, a trend that started with 2021’s “Jungle Cruise” and will continue with a reboot of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise that’s still in development.
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