Coming September 5, 2023, a new YA novel under the title The Haunted Mansion: Storm & Shade was revealed an interview on the official Disney Parks blog. In the interview, author Claudia Gray offers some "spoiler-free tidbits" of information about the novel, including a brief summary of the protagonist, Audrey:
Audrey has just moved into the city from the suburbs, and so she’s having to adjust to a new school (with the world’s worst uniforms), new friends, and a not-quite-long-distance relationship with her boyfriend, Chase. This would be tough for anyone, but Audrey has also been dealing with terrible anxiety attacks. Therapy is helping, but guess what’s right down the street in her new neighborhood? And just when she thinks the Haunted Mansion is as terrifying as anything could ever be, Audrey realizes that even the Happy Haunts can get scared….
The Disney Books website has also included a page for the book, where readers can preorder a copy and read an official synopsis for the novel.
Welcome, foolish mortals, to an original and eerie novel inspired by the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disney Parks!
Audrey is the new girl in town, a town that houses a supposedly haunted mansion. When Audrey and a few of her friends decide to investigate this phantom manor, she becomes involved in a macabre mystery and eerie adventure that holds the fate of the mansion’s 999 happy haunts in the balance. Plus, if that wasn’t enough, Audrey finds herself in a love triangle between her boyfriend and enigmatic Sterling, who just might be one of the ghosts.
Can Audrey and her friends save the ghosts—and her love life—before it’s too late?
As reported by deadline.com, it seems that the release date for the 2023 Haunted Mansion film has been pushed from March 10th to August 11th- two days after the ride's 54th anniversary on August 9th. Though some fans are disappointed, some hope that this signifies a major adjustment due to several issues concerning questionable behavior from certain actors involved. Fans still patiently await casting announcements for other prominent ghost characters including the Hitchhiking Ghosts, as well as footage of the actual trailer shown at D23 several days earlier.
Before the final day of D23 2022 concluded, it seemed Disney had a few more Haunted Mansion-related announcements in store. During the Parks & Experiences panel, broadcast during the livestream, chairman Josh D'Amaro confirmed that the fan-favorite Hatbox Ghost would be coming to Walt Disney World's mansion sometime in 2023.
Alongside this news, a less remarkable but still intriguing piece of information was shared with guests regarding the new Disney Cruise Line ship the 'Disney Treasure'. A teaser trailer for the ship included shots of several characters framed by portholes, with one of them being the Hitchhiking Ghosts. What this means is currently unknown, though some theorize that it will include some sort of Haunted Mansion-themed restaurant or bar.
This year's D23 Expo has begun, and many fans have been hoping for news on the upcoming Haunted Mansion film. While no mention of any announcements or panels had been made beforehand, several users on Twitter began enthusing about a presentation from Jamie Lee Curtis (cast as Madame Leota) and the film's director Justin Simien, as well as a teaser trailer. Excitement spread to fans who were unable to attend the expo, which soon turned to frustration as the realization that no footage of the actual teaser had been recorded and shared with the public.
Despite the lack of trailer coverage, several new details have come out, including the confirmation of actors Winona Ryder, Dan Levy and Hasan Minhaj making appearances in the film. According to IGN, Simien has stated that "the film adaptation will be full of easter eggs from the ride, mixing both humor and a dark edge."
At this time, no clips have surfaced, though some report otherwise. Though many had previously given up hope for the movie's success (partially due to the controversial announcement that Jared Leto had been cast as the Hatbox Ghost), the new trailer has reanimated excitement among those who have seen it, and those who were unable to attend are ravenous for more news.
A written summary of the trailer found by Discord user Bunny Beane reads as follows:
"The footage begins with a car pulling down a spooky lane with a sign that says "Do Not Enter" on the side. A narrator begins speaking and the voice is none other than national treasure, Danny DeVito. Suddenly, things start to look a bit strange...there's paranormal attacks! Explosions! Creepy imagery from inside the house! "There are no records, only stories," he says.
A character played by Rosario Dawson discovers blueprints of the creepy old house, and notices that there should be a room at the end of the hall, but there's no door. Owen Wilson, donning a bowler hat and jacket, claims he can open it, pulling on the light torch on the wall before it breaks off. LaKeith Stanfield's character gives it a go as well, looking through the eyes of a portrait on the wall, pulling on them, which opens to a creepy cave of stairs.
The trio grab flashlights and head down the stairs, noting a roundtable with chairs and a cobwebbed chandelier above it. Stanfield attempts to open a valve on a barrel, unleashing fluid that overwhelms a flame and spreads light around the room. "This room hasn't been touched in centuries..." BECAUSE IT'S A SEANCE ROOM! Unfortunately, Owen Wilson seems to have forgotten is lucky crucifix, and finally we see the spirit of Danny DeVito.
A ghost appears in the mirror, strange things start happening all around the house, someone is thrown back with a splash of water and then ... THE HITCHHIKING GHOSTS APPEAR! Our trio try to figure out just what's happening in this haunted mansion, while meeting all of the sneaky inhabitants, which may or may not include Jared Leto as the Hat Box Ghost. "