In the long line of adaptations and remakes that will arrive in cinemas from now until the end of time, there are very few that actually seem necessary. One exception might be Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, which Disney made in 1983 and now plans to remake, with writer Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) penning a treatment for the adaptation and making his directorial debut on the film.
Something Wicked This Way Comes is the story of two young boys whose small town is invaded by a traveling carnival, lead by the malevolent Mr. Dark. The carnival offers wish fulfillment of a sort – a chance for the adults of the town to relive lost childhoods, and for the children to become the adults they dream of. But it all comes at a horrifying price, as the two boys discover. The book is nothing short of terrifying, as much due to Bradbury’s prose style as to the actual events of the story. The 1983 film version had its flaws but succeeded in drawing out some of the more frightening and melancholic moments that permeated the novel, particularly in the form of Jonathan Pryce’s Mr. Dark.
Grahame-Smith has long been a strong advocate for Bradbury’s work and said the following about Something Wicked This Way Comes:
I want the haunted atmosphere that makes the book so chilling, and I want to reinstate some of the classic scenes from the book that were missing from the ’83 film.
While Grahame-Smith has so far failed to impress me with his writing in either film or novel form, perhaps he will do better as the director and writer of an already beloved story. Certainly keeping the darker aspects of the novel will go a long way to making Something Wicked This Way Comes successful, and Grahame-Smith’s inclinations toward horror suggest that he’ll go dark with his version.
This adaptation will not be arriving any time soon, however. Grahame-Smith is currently finishing up his Beetlejuice sequel script and has a sequel novel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter due out in January. When he’ll actually get time to make Something Wicked This Way Comes is anyone’s guess, but it will be interesting to see if he can pull it off.
We’ll keep an eye on Something Wicked This Way Comes and let you know when there’s further news about the adaptation.