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Muppets Haunted Mansion - What We Know So Far

The Muppets are back to their old movie theater haunt with the upcoming release of "Muppets Haunted Mansion." Set to be something seriously silly and at least somewhat scary, these felt-made friends endeavor to bring a bit of mayhem to the classic Disney theme park ride. They might even follow in the footsteps of the original "Haunted Mansion" starring Eddie Murphy.

How close the Muppets are to replicating the original film, however, is seemingly a question for the special's release. While the Muppets' executive puppeteers at Disney have given the go-ahead to announce a release window, some casting decisions, and a couple story details, much of "Muppets Haunted Mansion" is still shrouded in mystery. Furthermore, with a fast-approaching debut, fans may not find out any of the juicier details until after the Disney+ premiere. Until then, here is what we know so far about "Muppets Haunted Mansion."

When will Muppets Haunted Mansion release?

What sort of horror film would "Muppets Haunted Mansion" really be if there wasn't an element of the unknown? If fear of the unknown truly is "mankind's oldest and strongest kind of fear", then "Muppets Haunted Mansion" is seriously committed to the scare — at least in regards to the movie's release date. Gonzo and Pepe the King Prawn announced the film in May 2021 via their YouTube channel, but they neglected to clue fans in on a specific release date. Instead, the two offered a release window of fall 2021.

Perhaps that mystery might not be the most terrifying one on the planet, but it does make one wonder why Disney is being so reticent. In the best case scenario, Disney just wants to surprise fans by unexpectedly releasing it. The worst case, and the truly scary scenario, is that the Muppets are suffering some production issues that are causing Disney to hesitate on the release date. It would make sense if the company was exceptionally committed to the possibility of an obvious Halloween debut, but still unsure if the film could be finished by then.

This is more speculative than anything else. Whatever the reason for a broad release window, Disney isn't very forthcoming about it. Fans will be more alert and attentive to the Muppets during the fall months.

Who is in the cast for Muppets Haunted Mansion?

The fact that this is a Muppets movie gives most fans a good idea of what the film's cast will look like. At the very least, you can bet on Gonzo and Pepe to be there. They did announce it, after all. On top of that, there are also the usual Muppets suspects. It's hardly a Muppets movie without Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, the Swedish Chef, or any other of the classic Muppets too innumerable to list.

Traditionally, however, Muppets films always have a human element. "Muppets Haunted Mansion" is no different. This time around, Disney has nabbed LaKeith Stanfield ("Atlanta," "Sorry to Bother You") and Tiffany Haddish ("Keanu," "Girls Trip") as the film's major non-puppets players, according to Deadline.

Despite the fact that we know of the human cast for "Muppets Haunted Mansion," Disney has not said anything regarding Stanfield's and Haddish's roles. If the plot does resemble the story of the original 2003 Eddie Murphy rendition, then that gives fans a few potential candidates for whom the two might play. Stanfield might play Edward Gracey, the Mansion's owner, or replace Murphy as unwitting protagonist, Jay. Likewise, Haddish might portray Sarah, Jay's wife, or Madam Leota, the ghostly gypsy's head contained in a crystal ball. The world is truly Disney's oyster in this regard.

What is the plot of Muppets Haunted Mansion?

According to Variety, "Muppets Haunted Mansion" is set to follow Gonzo after he is challenged to spend a night in the mansion. Aside from implying that LaKief won't be portraying Jay in this rendition, it might also suggest that "Muppets Haunted Mansion" follows an entirely different story.

This wouldn't be too shocking. The 2003 film about a workaholic father learning to appreciate his wife and kids while navigating the dangers and mystery of a haunted mansion was less of a faithful adaptation to the original theme park ride and more of a loose interpretation. Characters and aesthetics were pulled from the ride, but nothing major. "Muppets Haunted Mansion" would be entirely justified in following a more original story.

In either case, the plot of this Muppets movie will focus just as much on the personalities of each Muppet, and the resulting mayhem caused by their eccentricities. That's half the fun of these movies in the end. It's all about watching Kermit the Frog or Miss Piggy pretend to be a different character, all the while failing at convincing you that they're anything but the loveable puppets fans have watched over the years. In that regard, it's almost certain that "Muppets Haunted Mansion" will add an extra dash of enjoyment to this upcoming Halloween season.