EW has shared a first look at Jamie Lee Curtis portraying the mystical medium that Disney Parks fans everywhere have come to adore, Madame Leota, in the new adaptation, Haunted Mansion, due out this summer.
- EW has shared a first look image of Jamie Lee Curtis starring as Madame Leota in the Walt Disney Studios film, Haunted Mansion, due out in July.
- In the related article, Director Justin Simien goes on to explain that he knows there’s a dedicated fan base for the classic Disney Parks attraction that he is adapting into a film, even citing the 2003 Eddie Murphy adaptation as “a reference point for how he could "go awry" in straying too far from what people love about the ride.”
- Regarding Leota, the disembodied floating head in a crystal ball who serves as a spiritual medium who is played in the film by the Academy Award winning Jamie Lee Curtis, Simien calls her "a little subversive" and "a little funny" in the translation from park to screen. Adding that the character also packs "the gravitas you'd expect.”
- "She starts off as one of the relics, one of the items, one of the aspects of the house that has to be discovered,” Simien continues, “but becomes a functional character and a useful ally in the film.”
- In the film, the medium assists a single mother, played by Rosario Dawson, and her young son in ridding their New Orleans home of infesting spirits.
- Simien also adds that while her character is influenced by the nostalgia for the attraction, the story built around her character is completely new, reassuring fans by saying that when he got the job helming the film, “the first thing we did was extensively toured” the attraction. He goes on to say that he and his team were given access to all of the attraction’s physical set pieces, as well as the backstory “bible” for the attraction, which explains the full canon for the over 50 year old ride.
- Though “firmly planted in the New Orleans mansion,” Simien adds that’s not to say there are no other traces of the other incarnations of the attraction in the film.
- Justin Simien directs the movie, and stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Owen Wilson, Jared Leto, Winona Ryder, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Dan Levy, LaKeith Stanfield, and Tiffany Haddish.
- Inspired by the classic Disney parks attraction, the mysterious adventure follows a doctor (Dawson) and her 9-year-old son (Dillon), looking to start a new life, move into a strangely affordable mansion in New Orleans, only to discover that the place is much more than they bargained for. Desperate for help, they contact a priest (Wilson), who, in turn, enlists the aid of a widowed scientist-turned failed-paranormal expert (Stanfield), a French Quarter psychic (Haddish) and a crotchety historian (DeVito).
- Haunted Mansion is due out in theaters on July 28th.
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