Guillermo del Toro recently stepped down from directing The Hobbit, but don't feel bad for the filmmaker -- he's already filled the gap in his schedule. Del Toro took the Comic-Con stage a short while ago to announce that he's directing a 3D version of The Haunted Mansion.
Based on the popular Disney theme park ride, the film is set to present the Hatbox Ghost as a prominent character. This marks the second attempt at taking the attraction and building a film around it, the first being 2003's dismal Eddie Murphy vehicle of the same name. Del Toro is promising that this version will not be a comedy and will instead focus on horror elements. The director quelled any fears of a Murphy return to the series by joking he was "ignoring Eddie Murphy's phone calls."
The director behind such films as The Devil's Backbone and the Hellboy franchise seems like a good fit for this project -- particulary if Disney is looking to go in a spookier direction this time around.
Taking the stage at the end of the Tron panel, Del Toro unveiled the first teaser for the project, which he wants to make fun for the family, but still scary like the ride. "We are not making a comedy," he said. "We are making it into an e-ticket ride. It will be scary and fun, but the scary parts WILL be scary."
Del Toro clearly gets Walt Disney's legacy: "Disney is one of the creators of some of the scariest images in my childhood. People forget that he not only made sweet images but also images of nightmare. We need to honor that side of the legacy."
A long-time fan of the ride, Del Toro appears to set to breathe new life into this fledgling franchise.