Haunted Mansion to Become a Special on Disney XD

To celebrate the 45th anniversary of Disney's Haunted Mansion attraction, the studio is developing a Disney Channel and Disney XD animated special inspired by it, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Haunted Mansion special will be animated by legendary horror genre artist and children's book illustrator Gris Grimly, who also will exec produce and art direct. Scott Peterson of Phineas and Ferb will serve as writer, EP and story editor. Joshua Pruett (Phineas and Ferb) is on board as a consulting producer and writer.

The property is currently also in development as a live-action feature film in the vein of Pirates of the Caribbean. That version is expected to be more of a PG-13 horror/suspense film, rather than embracing the absurd and comedic -- a strategy already taken once with the Eddie Murphy film based on the ride released a decade or so ago.

"I spent 2 weeks ago, I went back to Disneyland with the executives with whom I am developing the screenplay," prospective writer/director Guillermo del Toro said during a recent Reddit AMA. "It's a hard screenplay to crack. We've done it a few times. We are on our third or fourth draft, with 2 different writing teams, and I think the main thing is to try to combine everything that is great about the ride into the movie, and to make it a really intense but with a sense of fun - just like the ride. It's a tough balance, and I would be happy to report if we had the screenplay. We always feel like we are very close, but not yet. We have developed 50-60 pieces of art, We've developed maquettes of the Hat Box Ghost, over the body and face of Doug Jones, but we have not succeeded yet in cracking the screenplay. I have to believe that Disney will make this movie as soon as we crack the screenplay, but until then we cannot tackle it. It is a movie I would love to direct, but I would be happy to just produce it if the timing is not right."

Marvel's recent Museum of the Weird comic book miniseries was also set in the "world" of The Haunted Mansion.