Legendary comic actor Danny DeVito is reportedly stepping into Disney’s Haunted Mansion reboot. The live-action film, which is just beginning production, will be based on one of Disney’s most iconic theme park attractions.
DeVito joins an already robust cast, including LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, and Rosario Dawson. Justin Simien – director of Dear White People – will take the helm of this project.
As stated by The Hollywood Reporter, DeVito’s character will be that of a “smug professor” in a film that “follows a mother and her son who come across a mansion that is more than it seems while being orbited by various characters key to undressing the spooky mystery.”
The use of the word “orbit” here is curious, as it lends to visions of a song-and-dance type of variety show. Though it could also refer to the tendency of ghosts to hover and float.
DeVito is well known to Disney fans as Philoctetes (Phil), the half-man, half-goat sidekick to Hercules in the 1997 animated film. He also played Max Medici, a traveling carnival owner in Tim Burton’s 2019 live-action remake of Dumbo.
This is not Disney’s first rodeo when it comes to turning park attractions into feature films. The previous 1997 treatment of The Haunted Mansion in film was largely considered a disappointment. 2002’s The Country Bears was universally loathed. 2015’s Tomorrowland performed better in the box office, albeit to overall lukewarm reviews.
Conversely, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise has been wildly successful, with five total films in the series so far.
Do you think this will finally be the big screen treatment the classic Disney Parks attraction deserves, or another in a list of underwhelming attraction-based films? Let us know with a comment here at Pirates & Princesses, or send a direct message on Instagram: Disney Facts and Figment, Facebook: Disney Facts and Figment, and Twitter: Facts and Figment.
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