Another cast member has joined the nine hundred and ninety happy haunts of Disney’s Haunted Mansion adaptation. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Danny DeVito has joined the cast of the upcoming ride-to-film adaptation, adding another high profile name to a call sheet that already includes LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, and Rosario Dawson.
While plot details are being kept strictly under (funerary) wraps, THR reports that DeVito has signed on to play “a smug professor.” According to the site, the film is set to follow a mother and her son who stumble across a mansion with a mysterious past, and subsequently find themselves encountered by a number of eclectic characters while they unravel the building’s unsettling past. Whether DeVito’s professor is one of those, and whether he is living or dead, no one knows — but with a story like that of the Haunted Mansion, it might be safe to hedge your bets that the character will no longer be of this earth.
Haunted Mansion, directed by Justin Simien and written by Katie Dippold, went into production in New Orleans and Atlanta last week, with the former location seemingly hinting at the story behind the original Disneyland attraction, which calls New Orleans Square its home. The film is Disney’s second attempt to adapt the iconic attraction for film, after an unsuccessful attempt starring Eddie Murphy, Nathaniel Parker, and Jennifer Tilly was released in 2003. The company also produced a Mansion-adjacent special starring the Muppets — titled Muppets Haunted Mansion — to celebrate the Halloween season, now available on Disney+.
Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich are set to return to the live-action Disney game to produce the film via Rideback, having had their hands in the production of the billion-dollar-grossing Aladdin, which opened in theaters in 2019. No release date for Haunted Mansion has been set.