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July 23, 2010

'Pan’s Labyrinth''s Guillermo Del Toro teams up with Disney

Director to make movie inspired by Haunted Mansion ride

'Pan’s Labyrinth''s Guillermo Del Toro teams up with Disney

Award winning Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo Del Toro is to make a film inspired by The Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. Del Toro surprised over 6,000 fans at a panel at San Diego's comic book convention Comic-Con with the announcement that he is teaming up with Walt Disney Studios to produce a film based on the classic theme park ride, built in 1969, reports Deadline.

Before Del Toro’s surprise appearance, Disney execs asked the crowd who would be their choice of director for the project, and the audience responded with shouts of “Tim Burton" but cheered when Del Toro appeared.

The Mexican director, notorious for his dark vision in films, admitted that he was nervous speaking at a Disney event, but had fond memories of riding The Haunted Mansion as a child.

“Dark imagery is an integral part of the Walt Disney legacy," he said of the live action 3D film. "After all, Disney himself was the father of some really chilling moments and characters – think Chernabog from Fantasia or Maleficent as The Dragon or The Evil Queen in Snow White. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of my own adaptation of the original theme park attraction Walt envisioned and that remains, for me, the most desirable piece of real estate in the whole world. The scary will be scary. We're being true to the spirit of the original imagineers.”

Rich Ross, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, added: “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...[he] 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.”

Del Toro was slated to direct The Hobbit, but pulled out due to time restrictions, though he is still writing the screenplay.

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