We haven’t heard that much on the Haunted Mansion front from Guillermo del Toro recently, with our last update on the matter being over a year or so ago. Del Toro likes to keep a lot of irons in the fire though (I don’t blame him) and he recently indicated that the Disney ride adaptation he plans to produce and co-write (and possibly even direct) isn’t quite dead. He’s still plugging along at it.
If you haven’t caught up with the other del Toro projects in the works, you can check out Steve’s interview with him earlier this week that covered stuff like the Pacific Rim Animated Series, At the Mountains of Madness, Crimson Peak and The Strain along with his new Black and White movie. Hit the jump for del Toro’s Haunted Mansion update.
Del Toro told the online attendees of a Reddit AMA session:
“2 weeks ago, I went back to Disneyland with the executives with whom I am developing the screenplay. 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. It’s a tough balance and I would be happy to report [that] we had the screenplay. We always feel like we are very close, but not yet. We have developed 50-60 pieces of art. We’ve developed maquettes of the Hat Box Ghost over the body and face of Doug Jones, but we have not succeeded yet in cracking the screenplay. I have to believe that Disney will make this movie as soon as we crack the screenplay, but until then we cannot tackle it. It is a movie I would love to direct, but I would be happy to just produce it if the timing is not right. I, by the way, was named Guest for the Day for the Haunted Mansion the last time I did, which gave me unlimited access to ride the mansion several times during the day. Unfortunately it was just the moment my left knee decided to bust and I had to go back home with a busted knee.”
So even though they’re working on it, they’re still pretty much in the same boat they were in a year ago. With one key difference. Now, he’s open to directing. Back then he told Collider that he couldn’t:
“Haunted Mansion we chased the writer for a year and a half, we didn’t get the writer, we’re going after another writer. That one I would produce and I co-wrote, but I won’t direct… I’m a huge fan of Haunted Mansion and I would love to do it, but Disney at the same time wants to move really fast on it, and I’m busy for a year and a half or two so they don’t want to wait that long. But if we keep chasing writers that we don’t get, it’s getting to be difficult.”
It’s worth noting that if del Toro does deice to direct the project, it won’t be happening for several years. Pacific Rim 2 is going to eat up a lot of time.
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