In a story I first saw earlier today here:
Disney has just announced plans to relaunch the Haunted Mansion film franchise (that is, if you consider the 2003 Eddie Murphy “hey, it’s better than “Pluto Nash”…hehehe!” film a franchise).
Anyone else remember a time when a film franchise had to wait an entire generation to be reborn? Now if a film is a pissbomb (as a wise man once said), it takes all the time of a Listerine rinsing to re-boot it.
Bigshot 1: “Hey, that Hulk movie sucked!”
(30 seconds of mouthwashing)
Bigshot 2: “Yeah, let’s try that one again.”
How much longer until every weekend at the movies feels like that year when 2 Christopher Columbus biopics came out? (Remember that feeling of excitement? “We can see 5 ½ epic hours of Columbus!” Neither do I.)
Historians debate which Columbus movie was playing while this portrait was painted.
However, this “Haunted Mansion” redux does have one thing going for it: Guillermo del Toro. That’s right, the “Pan’s Labyrinth” director has signed on to helm this project, and he’s one of the few directors I trust.
The guy’s imagination is off the charts; if you saw either “Hellboy” you know what I mean. Watching that movie literally gave my creative side a swirlie; trying to comprehend that dude’s brain creates the same feeling I get when I walk into a huge library: “who has time to sort through all this shit?”
I would trust no with a theme-park ride flick more than Big G, but there’s a couple things that worry me. One, movies generally become rides with better results than rides-to-movies. Tons of great films have been turned into attractions; and as much as it entertains to me to watch a drunken Tisch School of the Arts drop-out play Beetlejuice at Universal Studios, Disney did it first.
I went to Disneyland when I was 7 and was most excited to experience the Dumbo ride. Truth be told, that attraction had an edge because it was on the commercials; I just assumed that sitting inside Dumbo would make me look as cool as the kid on the ad. Unfortunately, all the Disney magic in the world can’t cover up a chubby kid with a mongoloid head.
Secondly, I feel like there’s other Disney rides more deserving of their shot at movie stardom before the Haunted Mansion gets another at-bat. How about these:
-Are you kidding me? How is this not James Cameron’s next movie? This has two of the biggest things ever right in the title…what’s more epic than that?!? Space is infinite in size, and mountains are the tallest things on Earth. Mel Gibson could play the hero, improvise all his line while drunk, and it still would get green-lit.
I can’t believe this was never attempted in the early 80’s, when there was a wave of 3-D and bad “Star Wars” rip-offs. Maybe if the studios back then could stop laughing so hard at “Smokey and the Bandit 3″ outtakes, they’d realize a Space Mountain movie is better than another Clint Eastwood monkey trucker sequel.
-Another mountain ride that has been screwed by Tinseltown. Come on, guys…the Hollywood sign is built in to a damn mountain! This could be a family adventure with Tom Skerrit as the weathered dad leading his kids up the one mountain he could never scale. When he gets mauled to death by 3 nefarious yetis (played by the male cast of “Friends”), his kids make a pact to climb the mountain for their fallen patriarch. Like you wouldn’t get emotional when Justin Beiber and Miley Cyrus heroically reach the top and bury their dad on Disney’s most famous summit.
-Call me crazy, I like this as a movie.
I apologize in advance if any of these rides have been turned into movies and i clumsily overlooked it; please accept my deepest sympathies, SyFy and Hallmark Channels. Any rides I missed? What do you want to see transformed into a film?
In Theme Park Adventure Part II, we’ll pull on our scuba gear and see what’s gone wrong with water movies, water parks, and my plumbing. Stay tuned.
MEDisney plans to give The Haunted Mansion a reboot,