Danny DeVito has just been cast in one of the biggest Disney films of the next few years!
The news broke yesterday that Danny DeVito has been cast in what promises to be one of Disney’s biggest films of the next couple of years — and no, it has nothing to do with the actor being fan-cast as Wolverine. DeVito is the latest in the growing list of big name actors signing on to Haunted Mansion. The film is based on the popular Disney attraction of the same name.
The news of Danny DeVito’s entry into the cast comes from The Hollywood Reporter, who says that the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star will be playing a “smug professor” in the upcoming Disney flick. Few details about the plot have emerged so far, but most reports agree a single mom and her son will move in to the titular mansion in the bayou, and eventually recruit a small cadre of professionals to get rid of the ghosts haunting the place. It will be these heroes the story focuses on. The “professionals” include a historian — presumably DeVito’s role — a psychic, a tour guide, and a priest.
Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) and LaKeith Stanfield (Sorry to Bother You) will join Danny DeVito in the film. Reports of their involvement surfaced in July, per THR. Haddish is said to be playing a psychic who can commune with the dead while Stanfield has reportedly been cast as a bored tour guide. Owen Wilson and Rosario Dawson were both added to the cast last month, though in both cases there was no word on who the actors would play.
There’s no word yet on a release date for Haunted Mansion, though whenever it comes out it won’t be the first time Disney’s produced media based on the popular theme park attraction. Just this month, while it had nothing to do with Danny DeVito, Disney+ released the first Halloween special for the Muppets franchise, Muppets Haunted Mansion. Then there’s the 2003 Haunted Mansion flop starring Eddie Murphy, which reportedly will have no narrative connections to the new film.
Justin Simien will make his big budget directorial debut with Haunted Mansion. The acclaimed director is known for his comedy and satire, having directed the 2014 dark dramedy Dear White People, and last year’s horror comedy Bad Hair. Writing the words for Danny DeVito and the rest of the cast is Kate Dippold, known for her scripting on Parks & Recreation and the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot. THR reports production on the film began in Louisanna earlier this month.
Haunted Mansion isn’t the only big franchise Danny DeVito has been reported to be joining recently, though in the case of the other franchise, it’s more a case of him rejoining it. Last month we learned that Triplets — the long-simmering sequel to the 1988 comedy Twins starring DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger as unlikely twins separated at birth — is close to getting made. Along with Ivan Reitman who directed Twins, DeVito and Schwarzenegger are on board, and Tracy Morgan will reportedly be playing the newly discovered third brother.