Director Justin Simien has shared details about the Haunted Mansion alternate ending.
Disney’s new supernatural horror movie features a star-studded ensemble cast, including LaKeith Stanfield, Danny DeVito, Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rosario Dawson, and Jared Leto. “A woman and her son enlist a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help rid their home of supernatural squatters,” reads the synopsis. Stanfield portrays Ben, a tour guide grieving his dead wife, Alyssa.
Simien has recently shared details to The Hollywood Reporter about alternate versions of the movie, including one where we see the ghost version of Alyssa. “You kind of see some remnants of it. There’s a dream sequence where, for a moment, we see Ben follow her through the house. I actually really felt strongly that what wakes Ben up again inside of the house is the potential to find her with his camera. He’s presumably been using it to find her, unsuccessfully, so that remains as a bit of subtext in this version of the movie.”
“But there certainly were some more overt searching-for-Alyssa scenes and ideas in different forms of the movie. We shot so much movie. (Laughs.) There’s probably a four-hour version of the movie that nobody would want to sit through, including myself. It has different possibilities of what could have happened between Ben entering the house and the group finally exiting the house and deciding to come back to it on their own. But through the process of just testing it and working with the Disney team, that’s not exactly the version that we ended up with.”
Although Haunted Mansion features a classic Disney happy ending, Simien reveals it wasn’t always going to end that way. “The first version of the movie that I encountered had a bit 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. 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.”
What is the Haunted Mansion 2023 runtime?
The movie is 2 hours and 3 minutes long.