What has been rumor has been officially confirmed: Universal will indeed be adding a prequel chapter to John Carpenter’s 1982 psychological-horror classic, The Thing.
Many have questioned just what a prequel to The Thing would be about, and who would be in it. Now it looks as though some of those answers are starting to come to light.
Here’s a primer for those who haven’t had the privilege of seeing John Carpenter’s The Thing: It’s about a group of American scientists living on a remote Antarctic station, who discover that a shape-shifting, body-snatching alien has infiltrated their camp and assumed the identities of some of the men, turning friend against friend in a bloody battle for survival.
Carpenter’s film was a re-imagining of the 1951 Howard Hawks film, The Thing From Another World, which was itself a re-imagining of the 1938 short story by John W. Campbell Jr., “Who Goes There?” The Carpenter version became a cult-classic due to its freaky premise, crazy-gory F/X, as well as one hell of a strong performance from Kurt Russell in the lead role of R.J. MacReady.
The prequel, which is being written by Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ronald D. Moore, and helmed by former commercials director Matthijs Van Heijningen, is rumored to be set on a Norwegian camp in the Antarctic, and will chronicle how the Norwegian scientists first unearthed and then tried to eliminate the dreaded shape-shifting alien.
If you’ve seen Carpenter’s version of The Thing, you already know that this proposed plot for the prequel directly echoes the opening of Carpenter’s film, in which a helicopter with two Norwegian scientists inside are chasing a dog across the snowy terrain, until the helicopter crashes just outside the American camp, setting into motion the chilling events of that film. And although Carpenter’s film featured scenes of Kurt Russell’s character exploring the decimated Norwegian camp (see the pic above), it was never fully explained what horrors took place there… until now, it seems.
Ever since whispers of The Thing prequel first hit the rumor mill, sources like Bloody Disgusting have reported that Heijningen is pushing for the brother of R.J. MacReady to be the lead character in the prequel. This would be a BAD move, IMHO. We know that MacReady visited the Norwegian camp in the original film–wouldn’t he have had some kind of indication that his brother had been there? Or are the filmmakers trying to find a way to squeeze Russell himself into the prequel (as some people are speculating)?
The safest bet for this prequel, IMO, would be for it to focus solely on the Norwegian scientists and their (ultimately failed) battle against the alien. But that’s just me. What do you think, how should they plot The Thing prequel?