Disney's Haunted Mansion Receives Your Sympathetic Vibrations, Will Materialize In Early 2023

Disney's new live-action "Haunted Mansion" movie officially has a release date: it'll be scaring its way into theaters in March 2023.

The news came Friday as part of a press release announcing several calendar shifts for Disney and its properties. Two untitled Searchlight projects slated for April and June 2022 have been removed from the release calendar, while "The Banshees of Inisherin" is now scheduled for a limited release on October 21 of this year. The latter is the latest Searchlight film by "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" writer-director Martin McDonagh, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. But enough about that. Let's talk about "Haunted Mansion." 

We've got a date with 999 ghosts

Like the 2003 film starring Eddie Murphy, the new "Haunted Mansion" movie will be based on the beloved Disneyland ride through a mansion purported to contain 999 haunts. Yet while that movie was a flop, this one appears much more interesting. Hopefully. The plot is still largely under wraps, but it follows a mother and son who work to solve the mansion's creepy mysteries.

The cast for "Haunted Mansion" is about as promising as they come: Tiffany Haddish is on board to play a psychic, while LaKeith Stanfield will play a widower who works as a tour guide, presumably for the titular ghost-filled manor. These two are already a comedic match made in heaven, but the rest of the ensemble cast looks hilarious, too. Danny Devito will be playing a "smug professor," while Owen Wilson and Rosario Dawson are also set to star.

"Dear White People" filmmaker Justin Simien is set to direct the new movie, with Katie Dippold writing the script. Dippold's presence as screenwriter is a good sign for anyone who may be immediately turned off by the idea of another goofy ghost movie inspired by a nine-minute theme park ride. She previously wrote the Melissa McCarthy comedy "The Heat," plus great "Parks and Recreation" episodes like "Andy and April's Fancy Party." Simien, meanwhile, has made a name for himself as a bold and witty filmmaker, expanding his successful original film into the dynamic Netflix series "Dear White People." The director teased the movie just yesterday on Instagram, with captioned "issa wrap."

If done right, "Haunted Mansion" could be the kind of joyfully spooky, somewhat kid-friendly movie that's largely disappeared since its 90s Renaissance. Think "Edward Scissorhands" or "The Addams Family," or even "Casper." Though it's been a while since we had a successful movie based on a theme park ride, it's perfectly possible: the blockbuster "Pirates of the Caribbean" was cut from the same Disneyland cloth as "Haunted Mansion."

"Haunted Mansion" is scheduled for release on March 10, 2023.