Let's put this out there and see what you think: Guillermo del Toro is remaking an Eddie Murphy movie. (*See updated info below.) Okay, we should probably elaborate on that. After finding himself forced to abandon a labor of love in The Hobbit, director Guillermo del Toro made a surprise showing at Comic-Con's Walt Disney panel where he unveiled to the 6,500 fans, his newest project: Disney's Haunted Mansion. (Admit it, you thought I was going to say Boomerang.)
Of course, the legendary Disney attraction was just treated to a big-screen adaptation in 2003 starring Murphy. However, coupled with del Toro's surrealistic vision, which made films like the Hellboy series and Pan's Labyrinth so epic, this will undoubtedly be a different kind of Disney picture.
According to Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, Rich Ross:
“Millions of people from around the world visit The Haunted Mansion each year, but no one has ever had a tour guide like Guillermo del Toro. Guillermo is one of the most gifted and innovative filmmakers working today and he is going to take audiences on a visually-thrilling journey like they’ve never experienced before.”
This is quite a surprise, but at the same time, it's also quite conceivable with the Pirates of the Caribbean series singing what may possibly be its swan song very soon. Disney probably needs to find the next big film franchise built around their attractions. By the time del Toro's film hits theaters, there would be the better part of a decade separating it from the Murphy film. Besides, in a situation like this when your source material is strictly limited to set designs and some character models, the plot is an open book and the films could be radically different. If anyone could take that raw material and create a worthy franchise for The Haunted Mansion, it's del Toro.
*It would later be clarified that as of now, del Toro is only producing and co-writing the film with Mathew Robbins.
Source: Disney Press Release