Mouse House also courting Minkoff to helm

Eddie Murphy, who has scored big with family fare including “Shrek” and “Dr. Dolittle,” is negotiating to topline Disney’s “Haunted Mansion.”

Pic, which is the third feature film inspired by a Disney theme park ride to be greenlit by the studio, is expected to start production in November.

“Mansion,” penned by David Berenbaum, is being produced by Disney-based Andrew Gunn.

Disney is also in discussions with Rob Minkoff (“The Lion King”) to direct, though negotiations have yet to formally start with the CAA-repped helmer.

Mouse House hopes to turn “Mansion” into a family event franchise, with project being overseen by Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group exec VP Mark Vahradian, VP Brigham Taylor and creative exec Louanne Brickhouse.

Spirited performance

In “Haunted,” Murphy plays a man who encounters a ghost when he and his wife and kids visit a haunted house. The vision spooks him into a profound awareness of the importance of the family he has previously neglected.

Murphy, repped by WMA, stars in “Showtime” for Warner Bros. opposite Robert De Niro. Pic earned $15 million in its opening over the weekend. He recently signed up to reprise his voice work as the wise-cracking donkey for DreamWorks’ upcoming sequel “Shrek II.”

He will next be seen in Columbia Pix’s “I Spy,” due for release Nov. 1. His other upcoming credits include “The Adventures of Pluto Nash.”

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