Although Disney already made a live-action The Haunted Mansion film starring Eddie Murphy in 2003, this new film will be a completely separate story. Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who produced the live-action Aladdin, are producing through their Rideback banner. Nick Reynolds of Rideback is executive producer and Katie Dippold wrote the most recent draft of the script.
Simien has met with Disney about several projects in years past before they chose him for The Haunted Mansion following his recent pitch.
Simien is most known for his 2014 film Dear White People, which he wrote, produced, and directed. He serves as the creator and executive producer of the Netflix adaptation of the same name. In 2020, his horror-comedy Bad Hair was also met with success.