Like it or not, Robocop 2014 happened and was an arguable success while it half-humanly, half-robotically stormed through the box office delivering justice. And with that justice comes another price: every ’80s movie and its sequel is continuing to get the reboot treatment while we all just wait around and see what sticks. Up next in the time machine is the 1983 Disney classic Something Wicked This Way Comes.
The studio is redoing its own material by taking the Ray Bradbury story and giving it to writer Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows; Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), who will make his feature directorial debut with the project. For those who said “I’m okay” after Fahrenheit 451 and haven’t familiarized themselves with other Bradbury novels, this one follows Mr. Dark, the evil owner of a traveling carnival (is there any other kind?). Dark gets his kicks by bartering with the residents of each town his carnival visits, their souls in exchange for their wildest dreams.
It’s a bleak and monstrous tale, and one that seems right up Grahame-Smith’s alley to helm as his first feature. While he is working on a treatment, he’s not writing the film itself, in spite of it seeming like something that could be easily at home on his resume. The 1983 film was scripted by Bradbury himself, so it’s big shoes to fill for the person who gets the job, but the late author said in the years since its release that he regretted the course that he chose to take with the plot. While many authors and fans complain that the film adaptations of beloved novels stray too far away from the actual book, it turns out that time it was Bradbury’s own fault.
According to Grahame-Smith, the Bradbury source material was one of his favorite novels growing up, and he agrees with the author about the meh-ness of the first film. It’s now his duty to get the meat of the novel back on the screen and get a new batch of kids excited about a film adaptation of a literary great’s lesser known (but still awesome) work. As an author himself (he wrote the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies novels, as well), he’ll know how to make it happen.
Let’s start with a tagline that mentions how there’s no burning books, but tons of dark magic. Sounds enticing, right?