The Card Counter star Tiffany Haddish and Judas and the Black Messiah star LaKeith Stanfield are in negotiations to headline in Disney’s film adaptation of their popular theme park attraction, Haunted Mansion. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the two will be directed by Bad Hair director Justin Simien.
The film, developed from a script by Katie Dippold, will focus on a widower (Stanfield) and his family who move into a mansion. Stanfield’s character, described as someone “who once believed in the supernatural but is now a rather lifeless tour guide in New Orleans’s French Quarter,” will eventually come into contact with ghosts, since Haddish will play a psychic who can speak to spirits. The film is set to start filming this fall in Louisiana.
Disney’s turn towards banking on Black actors has become more than a trend as of late, particularly in their Disney+ series. In the streamer’s recent series Loki, fans were astounded to see Jonathan Majors as the series’ villain, He Who Remains. He was also cast as the villain for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (and the next phase of the MCU), Kang the Conqueror, the more sinister variant of He Who Remains. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier also gave fans a look at how Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) develops into his role as the next Captain America and leader of the next phase of the Avengers.
Teyonah Parris also made her debut as a superpowered heroine in WandaVision (however her MCU superhero name, of which there were many in the comic books, is still unknown). Jeffrey Wright has also been cast as The Watcher in the upcoming series What If?, which features Chadwick Boseman’s last performance as T’Challa, the Black Panther.
In Disney’s films, Black stars are also being trusted to headline blockbuster films, particularly films that could become franchises. Dwayne Johnson is set to entertain families opposite Emily Blunt in Disney’s latest film–also based on a Disney park ride–Jungle Cruise, which comes to theaters Friday.