Something Wicked This Way Comes (lost original cut of Disney dark fantasy film; 1982)

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Something Wicked This Way Comes.jpg

The film's theatrical poster.

Status: Lost

Something Wicked This Way Comes is a 1983 dark fantasy film by Walt Disney Productions, directed by Jack Clayton and based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ray Bradbury, who also wrote the screenplay. The film was intended to have more "mature" elements than the average Disney film. It tells the story of two boys, Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade, whose peaceful life in Green Town, Illinois is shattered when Dark's Pandemonium Carnival arrives and begins changing the locals in various ways.

The film was completed sometime in 1982, but it got poor reception from preview audiences. As a result, the film was withdrawn from release and another $5 million was added to the budget for reshoots and re-editing. The original editor, Argyle Nelson Jr., was let go and replaced with Barry Mark Gordon. The reshoots and re-editing took six months to complete. Additionally, the original score composed by Georges Delerue was replaced with a new one by James Horner.

Deleted Scenes

Originally, the scene where the train rolls into town was more special effects-heavy. Computer graphics, in one of their first major Hollywood uses, were combined with traditional animation to make the circus magically materialize: the smoke from the train becomes the ropes and tents, tree limbs grow together to make a ferris wheel, and a spider web becomes a wheel of fortune. This scene was previewed in the May-June issue of Twilight Zone Magazine. In the final cut, the scene is shortened significantly; the train rolls into town and lets out smoke, then the smoke lifts to reveal the already-materialized carnival.[1]

Another scene that was cut depicted Mr. Dark sending a giant disembodied hand to grab the boys. Disney executives decided that the mechanical effect wasn’t realistic enough and the scene was changed completely and reshot. The reshot scene, used in the final theatrical cut, instead shows hundreds of spiders invading the room and crawling over the boys. Because Vidal Peterson and Shawn Carson (who played Will and Jim, respectively) were several months older when the new scene was shot, the boys’ voices are noticeably deeper in this scene than in the rest of the movie.[2]

Unused Score

As mentioned in the opening, Georges Delerue’s initial score was replaced with a new one by James Horner. For years, all that was available to the public of this score were snippets used in the original theatrical trailer (the credits shown at the end of the trailer mention Delerue, rather than Horner, as having composed and conducted the music, and the trailer also has a 1982 copyright date), along with some bootlegged recordings.[3] In 2015, however, Intrada Records released Delerue’s unused score on a Special Collection CD produced in limited quantities. Intrada Records had previously released the final James Horner score in 1998.[4]




The theatrical trailer, which credits Georges Delerue, uses snippets of his score, and has a 1982 copyright date.

See Also


Animation (Disney)

Animation (Pixar)


Live Action

Short Films