The director of Disney’s upcoming 2023 Haunted Mansion film just commented on the possibility of a sequel.
The upcoming Rosario Dawson-led reboot will be a drastic departure from the 2003 version starring Eddie Murphy. According to early critic reactions, the latest crack at the property is the most faithful yet, and fans will find plenty to love about it.
While the film isn't in theaters yet, fans can't help but wonder what a sequel could look like. Perhaps it would take queues from one of the other Haunted Mansion attractions around the world?
While most of the Haunted Mansions around the world (five in total) are similar in their theme, there are two which feature distinct differences.
Disneyland Paris tells the story of a doomed bride, while Disneyland Hong Kong features the Mystic Mansion, a version of the ride that is more magic-based, holding no mention of spirits or the afterlife at all.
Those certainly sound like great starting points for the franchise’s continuation.
Does Disney Have Plans for a Haunted Sequel?
The Direct’s Russ Milheim exclusively spoke with Haunted Mansion Director Justin Simien about the upcoming Disney movie and if there are any sequel plans in the works.
When asked if one of the international variations of the Disneyland attraction could be the center of another installment, the director noted that visiting one of those locations would “be super fun” and how there’s even “another mansion” featured in this upcoming movie:
“I think that'd be super fun. I mean, there's certainly a resemblance... There's another mansion that we go to in the movie that has a certain resemblance to another mansion that exists in America.”
Simien did confirm that they “definitely laid a lot of groundwork, should there be more Haunted Mansion movies:”
“Anyway, and I, I will say that we definitely laid a lot of groundwork, should there be more 'Haunted Mansion' movies to go to some of these other places. You know, that, to me, is absolutely the fun of it. And I thought what was so brilliant about the script that Katie [Dippold] wrote is by the time you get to the end of this movie, it's not like you've solved all of the mysteries of the mansion.”
He continued to elaborate that “there’s still so many stories” and “so many questions lingering” by the end of this first film:
“There are still so many stories, there are still so many questions lingering about the ghosts that inhabit that house, but also how they get around and where else in the world these kinds of ghosts could be. So I certainly hope that, you know, it sort of keeps all of those things alive. Because I love all of that lore. I think it's all really cool.”
What Would a Haunted Mansion 2 Look Like?
If Haunted Mansion is successful at the box office, it would be a no-brainer for the series to continue.
The storylines for both Disneyland Paris’ and Hong Kong’s take on the Haunted Mansion are the perfect directions to go while avoiding repetition.
If Disney went in the direction of Paris’ attraction, the story could tell a deep, personal tale following the doomed bride and her downfall. With the heart and heavy themes woven into 2023’s Haunted Mansion, this could make for a great thematic continuation.
Using Hong Kong’s Mystic Manor would be the most refreshing direction, but it could look very different than what came before—perhaps too different. Due to cultural differences, there are no references to either spirits or the afterlife in that version of the Disneyland ride, two things which seem critical for something called the Haunted Mansion.
Maybe Disney could fuse those mystical concepts with more classic ideas to create something entirely new.
One particularly hard part would be Disney deciding if it wanted to keep the stacked cast of this upcoming first film. With the above concepts, logistically, it seems like it would be easier to turn the franchise into more of an anthology of sorts, presenting a fresh slate for every entry.
Whatever happens with the IP’s future, it all depends on the performance of the first movie.
Haunted Mansion hits theaters on July 28.