Winona Joins “Haunted Mansion” Remake

Friday, Sep 9, 2022

‘Haunted Mansion’: Winona Ryder Joins Remake as Director Justin Simien Promises ‘All the Easter Eggs’

VARIETY – Disney revealed details from the upcoming “Haunted Mansion” remake, including new cast members like Winona Ryder, Dan Levy and Hasan Minaj during Disney’s D23 Expo on Friday.

“Haunted Mansion” boasts a star-studded cast, including Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, LaKeith Stanfield, Jared Leto, Tiffany Haddish, Ryder, Jamie Lee Curtis, Levy, Minaj and Danny DeVito. Justin Simien directs the supernatural comedy film, which follows Dawson’s character Gabbie, a single mom with a nine-year-old son. Looking to start a new life, Gabbie buys a strangely affordable mansion in New Orleans. When they discover the mansion is haunted, Gabbie resorts to hiring a paranormal tour guide (Stanfield), a psychic (Haddish), a priest (Wilson) and a historian (DeVito) to help exorcise her newly bought mansion. The film will feature classic references to the classic Disneyland ride, including Leto’s character of the Hatbox Ghost. Curtis will also play a character named Madame Leota.

“There was something about that ride that I felt was there in the script,” Simien told the audience at D23 Expo, “I wanted to be sure all the Easter Eggs are there because I’m a nerd.”

“I used to work here! I actually worked at Disneyland, y’all,” Simien said. “It was the best summer job I ever had. I used to ride the Haunted Mansion on breaks.” The D23 audience saw a new trailer which was not released to the public.

Nearly 20 years ago, Disney took a first stab at adapting the theme park attraction with the 2003 Eddie Murphy film “The Haunted Mansion.” The original film, which was directed by Rob Minkoff of “The Lion King” fame, co-starred Marsha Thomason, Terence Stamp and Wallace Shawn in a story about a realtor who becomes trapped in the haunted mansion. The film was not received very warmly at release, with Variety film critic Robert Koehler writing, “‘Mansion’s’ drab comic strokes and narrative render the movie almost superfluous. Nonetheless, Eddie Murphy’s presence and a certain built-in curiosity should bring out family lookee-loos.”

“Haunted Mansion” is set to hit theaters on March 10, 2023.