Film, News, Premiers
Jul 17, 2023

Disney’s ‘Haunted Mansion’ Premiere Moves Forward With no Talent

Disney’s Haunted Mansion has premiered with not an actor in sight as the studio tries to celebrate the film’s producer’s in place of talent.

(L-R): Rosario Dawson as Gabbie, Tiffany Haddish as Harriet, LaKeith Stanfield as Ben, and Owen Wilson as Father Kent in Disney’s live-action HAUNTED MANSION. Photo Jalen Marlowe. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 Tiffany Haddish, LaKeith Stanfield and Jamie Lee Curtis were very loudly absent from the red carpet premiere of Haunted Mansion. The film became the first major Hollywood event to take place after SAG-AFTRA took to the picket lines alongside the WGA. Strike guidelines prohibit not only on-camera work but also promotional activity, including premieres, interviews, festivals, FYC events, award shows and podcasts. Several studios and streamers have now cancelled their upcoming events. Oppenheimer‘s New York premiere set for Monday was among the first to get the axe. Disney moved forward with the premiere of Haunted Mansion, Choosing to lean on its theme park characters in the absence of the actors. Was it weird? Yeah. Evil Queen what are you doing here? The studios have really been stepping in and stepping up into their supervillain era. Why would anyone want to see theme park characters as talent representatives for a film they aren’t a part of? What is the logic? Let us know if you feel as baffled as we do upon learning the news.

Banking on their theme park Disney’s Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Maleficent, Snow White‘s Evil Queen and Cruella de Vil posed for photos with fans throughout the two-hour red carpet, as influencers and other guests also got private access to ride the Haunted Mansion attraction. The producers stopped for photos as the director briefly talked to press.

“I feel very ambivalent about it, but at the same time, I’m just so proud of this cast and I’m so, so proud of Katie Dippold who wrote the script, and so much of why I did this was to honor her words and to honor their work,” Simien told The Hollywood Reporter on the carpet of premiering his film without its actors. “If they can’t be here to speak for it, I felt like I had to be here to speak for it. It’s sad that they’re not here, at the same time, I totally support the reason why they’re not here. And I’m happy to be the one to ring the bell in their stead.” He also noted that he finds the AI issues coming up in SAG-AFTRA’s negotiations to be “a very important thing to hammer home and to figure out.”