Something Wicked This Way Comes (film) The ominous arrival of Dark’s Pandemonium Carnival in Green Town sparks the curiosity of two boys, Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade. Dark transforms some of the townspeople as the boys try to find out the secret of the carnival. The boys hide from Dark, who threatens Will’s father, the town librarian, who in turn finally helps good triumph over evil as he saves the boys and causes the destruction of the ominous carnival. Released on April 29, 1983. Directed by Jack Clayton. 95 min. Stars Jason Robards (Charles Halloway), Jonathan Pryce (Mr. Dark), Diane Ladd (Mrs. Nightshade) Pam Grier (Dust Witch), Royal Dano (Tom Fury), Vidal Peterson (Will), Shawn Carson (Jim). The film began life as a short story in a publication called Weird Tales in May 1948, then called “Black Ferris,” written by famed science fiction author Ray Bradbury. It became his favorite work and when he saw Gene Kelly’s direction of Invitation to a Dance, he personally delivered the story to the star’s home in order to work for and with Kelly on a film version of his story. Kelly agreed, but failed to raise the necessary funding. Over the next several years Bradbury converted his screenplay into the novel that was published in 1962 as Something Wicked This Way Comes, and was an immediate, and enduring, best seller. Producers Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and directors Sam Peckinpah, Mark Rydell, and Steven Spielberg are among those who were associated with the property over the years. Producer Peter Vincent Douglas’s fascination with Bradbury’s works culminated in a chance meeting with the celebrated author in 1976, in a bookstore, where Douglas discovered the rights to the novel were available again. Acquiring them, he met with director Clayton and over the next several years, they worked on a script. In 1980 Disney production vice president Tom Wilhite expressed an interest in the project, and in September 1981 the production went before the cameras. Green Town was created on the Disney Studio’s backlot, after the long-standing generic town square set was bulldozed. It took nearly 200 construction workers to build the one-acre set featuring the elaborate, Victorian-style town. The carnival, a tent, and caravan-lined midway covering two acres was likewise constructed on the Disney lot. Some sequences were shot on location in Vermont to provide the proper atmosphere. Live tarantulas were provided for the movie by Animal Actors of Hollywood, and though they performed dutifully, Studio veterans claim that a few got loose on the lot, causing consternation wherever they turned up. Released on video in 1983.