Ryan Gosling, whose directing debut Lost River opens this weekend, is set to take a leading role in family-friendly Disney adventure movie Haunted Mansion, reports the Wrap.
The project, based on one of the company’s theme-park rides, has been in development for some time – but now has Guillermo del Toro attached to direct from a script by High Fidelity’s DV DeVincentis. Gosling and the acclaimed Mexican director of Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim visited Disneyland together over the Oscars weekend and appeared on stage to discuss the making of Lost River at the SXSW festival last month in Austin, Texas.
Haunted Mansion was first announced at the 2010 Comic-Con in San Diego, but the supernatural-themed project appeared to be floundering until recently. Disney has a history of turning rides into successful movie franchises: the Pirates of the Caribbean series, whose four instalments have grossed more than $3.7bn worldwide, was also originally a theme-park attraction.
Gosling’s new venture would appear to be his safest bet for box-office success in years, with the 34-year-old Canadian actor having consistently tried to steer clear of the mainstream. He is rumoured to have turned down the roles of Batman in superhero epic Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey and The Joker in Warner Bros’ much-hyped supervillain team-up Suicide Squad in the past couple of years alone.
If Gosling is to make the move into more commercial territory, Disney would appear to be a natural home. He first appeared on screen aged 12 as one of the studio’s Mouseketeer hosts in a 1993 revival of children’s series The Mickey Mouse Club. At the time, his fellow cast members were Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Gosling also returned to Disney in 2000 for a small role in the critically acclaimed sports movie Remember the Titans.
This article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Friday 10th April 2015 14.14 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010