Haunted Mansion Director Teases "Darker" Original Ending

The casting of LaKeith Stanfield in the lead role changed the trajectory of Haunted Mansion's ending.

Without giving too much away, the ending to Disney's new Haunted Mansion movie is a hopeful one, a conclusion that leaves the door open for more story but also makes sure fans leave with a sense of optimism. That said, the ending that audiences are seeing in theaters wasn't always the one planned for Haunted Mansion. According to the film's director, Justin Simien, the original ending was a lot darker, but things changed after LaKeith Stanfield was cast in the lead role.

During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Simien was asked about Haunted Mansion's epilogue, which sees all of the film's main characters coming together to celebrate Halloween. The filmmaker revealed that that moment was a late addition to the story, giving it a more uplifting ending than what was originally intended.

"The epilogue was certainly a late addition. The first version of the movie that I encountered had a bit more of a darker ending, one that I actually really respected and enjoyed, but I correctly guessed that it maybe wouldn't get past the sort of Disney machine," Simien explained. "But once we cast LaKeith, there was something that changed about what I personally needed from the ending of the movie. Frankly, I didn't want to see a Black man have a tragic end in a movie like this. I wanted him to have hope at the end of the movie, and a tragic end for a Black character would've been really hard to swallow, at least for me right now. So we went with something a bit more hopeful, but there was probably something to the other version as well."

Haunted Mansion Sequel

Bringing all of the characters together for the film's ending helps leave room for another story in a potential Haunted Mansion sequel. The early box office results don't exactly bode well for a Haunted Mansion follow-up, but things could change over the coming weeks if the film is able to hold steady at the box office.

If there are discussions about a sequel, Simien recently told ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis that there are absolutely ways a another movie could work, and that the film itself leaves the door open for the possibilities. 

"It definitely leaves a door open for more and for other spaces where, you know, ghosts might materialize," Simien explained.

Haunted Mansion Cast

LaKeith Stanfield leads and all-star Haunted Mansion cast that also includes Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jared Leto, Winona Ryder, Hasan Minhaj, and Dan Levy amongst others. Simien directed the film from a script written by Kate Dippold.

Did you see Haunted Mansion in theaters? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!