Justin Simien is set to help Disney build its new Haunted Mansion, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Simien is in talks to helm Disney’s latest film revolving around its iconic Haunted Mansion theme park attraction, which debuted in 1969 and was an immediate success. He wrote and directed the 2014 film Dear White People before landing his Netflix series of the same name.
Disney previously turned the popular ride into a movie in 2003 with a feature starring Eddie Murphy. More recently, Katie Dippold, perhaps best known for writing the recent Ghostbusters reboot and hit comedy The Heat, was brought on board to pen a feature for the Burbank-based studio.
Rideback, the banner run by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich that was behind Disney’s billion-dollar-grossing Aladdin remake, is producing what is expected to be a live-action movie. The premise sees theme park guests go inside a spooky and creepy manor that has a wide array of supernatural frights. It also features a graveyard’s worth of characters, ranging from the spirit of psychic medium Madame Leota to the skeletal Bride to the cloaked Hatbox Ghost.
Disney will look to Simien to achieve a fine-line balance of genuine scares, fun and appropriateness for the wide Disney audience.
Simien is repped by CAA, Grandview, and Gordon Bobb at Del Shaw.