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Winona Ryder’s new Disney movie cameo is “so delightfully weird”

Winona Ryder's role in the new Disney movie has been called, "delightfully weird" by the comedy horror movie's director, and she's one of the best parts it.

Winona Ryder in Dracula

Winona Ryder is due to reprise her famous Beetlejuice role in the not-too-distant future as Beetlejuice 2 is currently scheduled for the end of summer in 2024 – though this could be delayed by the ongoing Hollywood strikes – and we can’t wait to see what the return of Winona Ryder and Michael Keaton will bring in a belated sequel.

While we wait for the Beetlejuice 2 release date, we have Ryder’s cameo role in the new movie Haunted Mansion to keep up going. Debuting in late July, Haunted Mansion is a horror-inflected comedy movie from Disney, which sees an ensemble cast featuring LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Jamie Lee Curtis, and many more unravelling a gothic mystery.

Joining them, in a minor surprise appearance, is Ryder. As no stranger to the gothic, she shows up in the new movie as a tour guide named Pat. It’s nothing more than a cameo role, but Ryder was always destined for the part.

Speaking with THR, Haunted Mansion director Justin Simien explained how he manged to get Ryder involved in the film, and shared his experience of working with her on the project. “We kidnapped her. We told her that she was shooting Beetlejuice 2, and she just went with it for a while until she caught on,” he joked, sarcastically.

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“No, she was someone that we wanted from the outset. Carmen Cuba, the casting director, myself and the studio were really enamored with this idea of plugging in classic faces in these cameo roles, and it just felt so right that she’d be the tour guide at the end of the movie. She was just so delightfully weird and funny in her performance, and it was a super magical time having her on this project.”

Explaining how Ryder balanced her role with her commitments to Stranger Things, Simien said, “We were shooting for quite a while, so she had time to rest up and regroup [from Stranger Things 4] and then join us.”

With her experience in the gothic sub-genre (from the likes of Edward Scissorhands, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Beetlejuice) Ryder certainly knows how to navigate her way around a movie like Haunted Mansion, and her presence is one of the highlights of the film. Unfortunately, the rest of the new movie isn’t quite as good, as we outline in our Haunted Mansion review.

For more, check out our guide to the Stranger Things season 5 release date, the best horror movies and best comedy movies. Or, see why Ryder’s Dracula is a perfectly imperfect vampire movie. You can also learn about how Ryder accidentally married Keanu Reeves for real, and see our picks for the best movies of all time.