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EXCLUSIVE: Guillermo Del Toro Talks About ‘Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark,’ And Lessons Learned Before Leaving ‘The Hobbit’

Mike Fleming

He’s a geek god when he walks the halls of Comic-Con. But Guillermo del Toro just told me he feels the phalanx of print and web media at the festival gave short shrift to the reaction of footage that he, producer Mark Johnson and director Troy Nixey presented for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. On Friday, they showed the Comic-Con crowd a chilling eight-minute prologue (think Marathon Man) and a trailer that gave a glimpse of the creatures that haunt a family in the remake of the classic 1973 telepic. It was his second Comic-Con panel, after he announced he’d scared up a writing and producing gig for the movie version of Disney’s Haunted Mansion theme park attraction.

Haunted Mansion must have had them thinking, well that’s the big movie for this guy, but I’m telling you the most successful panel I was on was Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, where we had a house at full capacity, with 6000 asses levitated by both pieces of footage,” del Toro told me. The remake—which stars Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce—shapes up as a potential sleeper when Disney releases in January. That’s a satisfying outcome for del Toro after a twisty road which began because he was such a fan of the original, made during a golden age of horror offerings from ABC that included Trilogy of Terror and Bad Ronald. Del Toro set it up with Bob … Read More »

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Disney & Guillermo Del Toro Developing Film Based On Haunted Mansion Attraction

UPDATE: Luke Y Thompson reports from Comic-Con 2010 today: Walt Disney Studios ended the TRON panel with a surprise: the logo of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride! The green drawing of a ghost was shown along with some of the spiel from the ride. The audience is asked who it thinks the perfect director would be. Crowd yells out “Tim Burton,” but goes crazy when Guillermo Del Toro comes out! He says he’s nervous because it’s a Disney panel, which limits his vocabulary. He says he has ridden the ride at least once a year since he was a kid, and notes he always felt there were more story possibilities than just a horror movie. That said, “the scary will be scary. We’re being true to the spirit of the original Imagineers… We are not returning Eddie Murphy’s call.” It will be shot in 3D, live-action, and the Hatbox Ghost is the pivotal character.

End panel, for real this time.

Disney Logo2SAN DIEGO, Calif. – July 22, 2010 –Guillermo del Toro surprised the 6,500 fans gathered today at Comic-Con with the announcement that he is currently developing a new film for The Walt Disney Studios based on the classic Disney theme park attraction, The Haunted Mansion.

guillermo-del-toro“Dark imagery is an integral part of the Walt Disney legacy. After all, Disney himself was the father of some really chilling moments and characters –

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