*LaKeith Stanfield and Tiffany Haddish are in talks to star in Disney’s new “Haunted Mansion” movie.
Justin Simien will reportedly helm the project with Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich producing through their Rideback banner. Nick Reynolds of Rideback will exec produce, per Deadline.
The film is based on The Haunted Mansion ride which debuted in 1969 and currently appears at both Disneyland and Disney World. Disney adapted the ride into a 2003 movie starring Eddie Murphy.
Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter:
The story will follow a family that moves into the titular mansion. Stanfield would play a widower who once believed in the supernatural but is now a rather lifeless tour guide in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Haddish would play a psychic hired to commune with the dead.
Several people appear to be disappointed by the casting news, claiming the film will flop with two Black actors leading it.
One commenter posted under the Deadline story, “Disney really had a chance to do something special with this when Del Toro was involved. This is shaping up to be a waste of an opportunity to get it right this time.”
Another added, “Could this be worse than Eddie Murphy’s version?”
A third said, “I’ve seen enough of Tiffany Haddish, LaKeith on the other hand is amazing.”
One seemingly racist commenter wrote:
It’s well known that for a film to be broadly and commercially effective, there must be some kind of attachment to the protagonist—some kind of unconscious, vicarious relationship and experience. A title of this fame and also required high budget must “attach” to as many as possible to justify the investment. Therefore, to put two relatively unknown black actors in these roles is likely to lead to failure if the film even gets made beyond the announcement.
Call this racist if you like—it’s merely a racial observation as to audience habit and psyche. Certainly when a black actor or Hispanic or Asian actor is a famous comic, there is financial reason to cast such a performer in a high budget film like this. This movie made with Kevin Hart or Dave Chapelle, for example, would appeal to the non-black audience in a way that these actors cannot cause.
This comment probably won’t be posted because it’s very unPC, but it is a considered observation of how Film narrative works. Disney ultimately is obligated to share value which comes from revenue. Eventually, Films cast without consideration of the majority of the audience will prove to be far less successful then their otherwise potential. When enough losses occur, this tendency to PC-cast will end. Time will tell if this is a factual observation.
Do you agree? Sound off in the comments.