The Thing Prequel Casts Its Leads

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 16th, 2013 at 12:49 am,

Universal Studios is at it again and by “it” I mean messing with movies that don’t need to be messed with. While The Wolfman looks to be a decent remake attempt, we won’t really know for sure if they screwed the pooch or not until this weekend.  Now Universal is messing with the 1982 John Carpenter classic horror film The Thing, which itself was a remake of the 1951 Howard Hawks film The Thing from Another World that was based on the 1938 short story “Who Goes There?”.

Universal is already deep into pre-production with The Thing and have already chosen Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Sky High, Live Free or Die Hard) and Joel Edgerton (King Arthur, Smokin’ Aces) to star in the prequel, which was written by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) and Eric Heisserer (A Nightmare on Elm Street remake) and will be directed by Matthijs Van Heijningen (good luck with that one, spell checker). Marc Abraham and Eric Newman from Strike Entertainment are onboard to produce.  Production for The Thing is slated to begin March 15th, 2010 in Toronto.

According to THR:

“Winstead will play a Ph.D. candidate who joins a Norwegian research team in Antarctica after it discovers an alien ship in the ice. When a trapped organism is freed and begins a series of attacks, she is forced to team with a blue-collar mercenary helicopter pilot (Edgerton) to stop the rampage.”

In Carpenter’s movie, the team of researchers and scientists stumble across the alien shape-shifting organism by accident but apparently they weren’t the first to do so. It looks like this Norwegian team will fall victim to the monster first. The 1982 Carpenter film became a cult classic for two reasons: Kurt Russell and Stan Winston’s/Rob Bottin’s practical special effects.

the thing images The Thing Prequel Casts Its Leads

Obviously, the aged Kurt Russell can’t be in the remake (the continuity would be way off), but there is no reason why the same type of great practical special effects can’t be used this time around. Stan Winston’s Creature Shop is still around doing great work and there are plenty of new special effects teams out there that could handle a project like this. If director Heijningen decides to go with CGI effects for the monster’s transformation scenes then the project could suffer. Notice I said COULD suffer and not WILL suffer.  I’m not shooting down the idea of CGI for this film just yet.

The story setup for The Thing prequel (which really needs a better title) is more than adequate for a film of this nature so I’m hoping the film does well. One major concern is the use of a female and male lead. This usually means a love story/interest of some sort and that is one thing that DOESN’T belong in a film like this.

What do you think about the plot and actors chosen for The Thing prequel and what are your thoughts on the monster SFX?

No release date mentioned for The Thing prequel yet.

Follow Me on Twitter @Walwus

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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  1. Please no love wahtsoever!
    This is the Thing!!!
    the only stuff i wanna see in this movie is gore and fear!

  2. Don't ruin a good thing. This film does not need to be remade.

    • Please read more carefully, this is not another remake. This will be a prequel to predate the events of the first movie. This will chronicle the attack on the Norwegian camp by the creature that Blair(Wilfred Brimley) and Mcready(Kurt Russell) discover as a result of the chopper and dog that visit them in the opening. I have high hopes for this but I also look down on the idea of any type of love story here…..that has no business in this film at all.

  3. That was one thing that was interesting about the original was that it was one of the only movie i can think of with no females in the movie besides one scene where there is a reporter on the tv.

  4. What I hope we get to see with this “prequel” is what the orginal form of the “Thing” is when first discovered by the Norwegians.

    • Note that in the first movie, Fuchs estimated the ship to have been in the ice for 100,000 years. By that estimation, it is highly likely that the Norwegian camp attack was not the first contact with the creature. There must have been wildlife that it fed on until the only thing left to do was hibernate until it was awakened. So hopefully they might include a hint of events leading to the demise of the Norwegian crew. We no doubt will encounter things that the creature has assimilated as it is a shape-shifter. And what of the size of the ship? Rather excessive for a single occupant. What if the creature was also a single survivor from a group of beings that attacked the humans? We will never know until the movie…..

  5. “Things”

  6. As long as it's the same generally subdued, overall flavor, and they all die – I'm pretty on-board with this. The “original” is sheer classic sci-fi horror (that soundtrack to it is pretty much the bottom line for horror cinema) and having “no slasher film” elements will help out this offering for sure.

  7. The Hollywood remakes are getting old and ppl (like myself) complaining about the remakes is also getting old.

    Not sure how this will end up but with today's trends and a movie with no established franchise or fanbase (except us hardcore fans), I'm afraid the studio will push it to appeal to the general audience. I'm speculating of course, but I just see this ending badly with it being either “torture porn” or shaky camera nightmare. Maybe I'm being pessimistic but I'll stick to the original (I just got the blu ray and haven't watched it yet).

  8. With you there, Mike. As Carpenter said himself, there's a sombre inevitability about the movie right from the very opening scenes of the helicopter taking potshots at the dog, as if some grim apocalypse has already taken place. He showed exactly what it's possible to achieve on a tiny budget with an isolated setting and a small group of talented character actors – Wilford Brimley and Richard Dysart in particular. The constant sense of claustrophobia and paranoia is at least 50% down to the largely naturalistic acting, which throws a few red herrings around (Richard Masur's understated Clark the dog handler for one). The scene where the twisted corpse brought back from the Norwegian base is unwrapped and they're all simply looking at it and each other: so much is communicated without a single word of dialogue. Ditto when Brimley starts the autopsy on the burnt dog-thing: that sound of disgust he makes and the expressions on his face. You can't script moments like that.

    I'm still waiting to learn how on earth Ennio Morricone came to be involved with what's perhaps the finest soundtrack John Carpenter never wrote. It's kind of an anti-Howard Shore situation: the latter shifting from the kind of sick pulses and ominous tones he used for his Cronenberg movie scores (plus Silence Of The Lambs and Seven) to Lord Of The Rings epic, the former going from full-blown operatic spaghetti western to the sort of restrained minimalist atmospherics Carpenter normally handles himself.

    As far as CGI goes, Norris's head scuttling around was a hell of a lot more convincing than the tentacled one in The Faculty because your mind's telling you one was physical and on-set, and the other…wasn't. Animatronics with the odd CGI tweak could work, especially on larger manifestations of the creature. I always thought they missed a trick by not having some disgusting amalgamation of everyone who'd been absorbed as the final version, kind of like the T-1000 thrashing about at the end of Terminator 2. They did actually try a stop-motion Blair/dog combo which Carpenter, to his credit, rejected as the footage didn't match the look of the rest of the film. The only part of that sequence that survives is the tentacle grabbing MacReady's detonator.

    The all-male cast was echoed by an all-male crew (bar the script supervisor, who had to leave due to a pregnancy). Kurt Russell said “It created an interesting situation, I thought, because there was no posturing of any kind – because there was no one to posture for.”

    • You know, even with all the stink-bait that 80′s movies produced due to a lack of technology this film was monumental in its effect on the emotions of someone watching thanks a great deal to the actors. The realism of the animosity between Childs and Macready could really be felt during the “blood test.” and then again in the closing scene as they acknowledge that the only thing the two of them have left to do is die.
      The constant feeling of claustrophobia and sense of foreboding that the film kept pushing on you actually made you feel as if you yourself were slowly being cornered and stalked. The idea of a creature that could assimilate the entire world en masse in 27,000 hours after first contact is kind of spooky. That’s actually only 37 months. Another great moment of concealment was how they very subtly gave you any visual clues that the “imitation” was Palmer, before he was exposed later in the blood test scene.
      When Wilford Brimley stretches out Richard Dysart’s face in the underground scene, it is a great example of why the use of latex far exceeds the need for over perfection of CGI. And when the final creature reveals itself to Macready, look close and you do actually see the dog head, and the faces of Copper and Norris…who were earlier killed in the spider head scene. And I agree that the physical spider creature versus a CGI version was much more effective.
      So much is lost in today’s acting through the use of CGI, because the actors are performing against nothing. They rely only on a vague out loud description of what they are told is there. If that creature popped up in front of me like it did Macready at the end of the movie….I would probably s*** my pants. But I think that’s a bad example, because Kurt Russell is actually that hard and probably would tell the creature to f*** off with all the calm he displayed at the time.
      To make a long story short(too late, LOL) I do have high hopes for this prequel. If you look at some of my responses to earlier posts, you will see some topic areas I hope they address well this go around. And I do like Mary Elizabeth Winstead, but I do hope they don’t insert a love story into this film. That would be so out of place here. We will see next April hopefully.

  9. I always wondered that as well. I haven't read the original novella, but apparently the implication was that it didn't really have a natural form, and whatever crashed the ship was some kind of assimilated species. Whatever it was, it was BIG…

  10. How 'bout The Hunt For Red October? That was the hard sell for the makers of it prior to release.

  11. “Worst idea in the long, sad history of bad ideas” -Jeff Goldblum, The Lost World: Jurassic Park 2

  12. I think it's about time we consolidate a few things. Take this prequel, combine it with planned re-boot-makes of Jaws 3D and Dare Devil. The pitch: You have a blind shark with super powers fall from space and land in the arctic. Chum and mayhem enhanced by 3D glasses. The shark of course eats the only female character on a live TV news broadcast… where the world discovers with great horror that the shark has a penis named Rod. The movie ends with an underwater circumcision performed by Kurt Russell using a light sabre.

  13. The prequel sounds good but the a sequel sounds better. because you already know what happened to everybody. but happened to the last two people in the '82 verson? they left you guessing. i hope they don't screw this up. This movie was my favorite horror flick since i was a kid.

  14. Dude…I can honestly say that the original 'Thing' was my favorite movie of all time. I have watched it probably 500 times or better. I can recite it damn near, and point out every mistake, miscue, microphone, and sound blip.

    I'm looking forward to this prequel. I hope its not disappointing.

  15. They need to do a follow up not a prequel. They could have another team come in to see what happened to the station. The sequel could have the setting in modern day where a new group of scientists find the frozen bodies of Russell and Keith who were frozen and buried in thick snow from the blizzard. The carnage ensues from there but only after they find Russell's tape recording warning others of the danger. This could be a great Movie but Im sure corporate suits will muss it up with PC banter and gooey love story. (if you have a love story could you imagine “hook up” scene where one of them turns into the thing during the deed? LOL!

  16. There is NO reason this film should be made.

    Can't HollyWierd think up a new concept?

    If it is made, there is NO reason for a female to be in this picture at all,
    I will not suffer thru a love story or a “girl who can hold her own with the guys” feminist propaganda.

    That is politically correct b*******.

    A key ingredient in making The Thing work was the mano a mano tension.

    And all the characters should be Norwegian
    -throwing in an American or Brit is a pandering attempt to
    create a character an Anglo audience can identify with.

    • Norwegians ARE Anglo! But, I see what You Mean! Hollywood Writers think with Their Wallets, and NOT with Their Heads OR Hearts! For an Alien Creature like The Thing, it needs to be So Structured, as TO Create Panic & Paranoia! Women written into a Script, to Whet the Appetites of Those wanting to see a Love Affair between 2 People, in the Midst of a SERIOUS Situation, is SOOOOOOOOOO STUPID, It Makes MEDICINE Sick! I Pioctured The Thing, the way John W. Campbell Wrote it. But since John Carpenter Screwed up the Movie with The Norwegians finding it First, and Relied TOO MUCH on the Special Effects, The ONLY Way to Make The Thing have Frightening Aspects, is to Re Do The Thing ITSELF, and add some Situations into the Theme, is to instill in The Thing, Capabilities that wasn’t seen in ANY of the 2 Movies that was Titled, “The Thing”! So…As I Picture it, as a Member of the Audience, I’d Like The Thing in the Prequel to be able to Be Ambidextrious, and Use Cunningness, so as it Homes in on its Victims, WHAT it does TO Imitate the Person it Absorbes, will be Disgusting, and Piss You Off! For the Dogs, I read Allen Dean Foster’s Version of “The Thing” from Bantam Books, and HE had GREAT Scenes, that Made The Thing a Force NOT to be Messed With! In One Scene, a Dog Came Out of the ice, and Took Out One of the Men from the Search Team. To Make The Prequel to The Thing, is to Make a Team of WHOEVER, to be The First Ones to Find it! So, in order to SURPRISE The Audience, Because We Already Know What The Thing IS & What it can DO…The Thing Should Surprise The AUDIENCE, and NOT The ACTORS! Like, While The Team is Secluded in a Wilderness FAR From Civilization, They Need to be able to Sustain a Steady Supply of Food! Since The Thing can imitate ANY Life Form, it should be able to imitate an Orange, say…and when it is eaten, it can Take Over the Person that Ate it…BUT, for Gore Fans, Let’s Turn the Victim, INSIDE OUT! You Know, Things Like That! Cows turn into Blobbish Octopus Thingies that Squashes Someone, and FORCES Appendages into its Victims, in such a way, as to SICKEN Pepto Bismal! Let’s see what happens at the Box Office! HOPEFULLY, We’ll be Happy with what The Results will be!

  17. There is NO reason this film should be made.

    Can't HollyWierd think up a new concept?

    If it is made, there is NO reason for a female to be in this picture at all,
    I will not suffer thru a love story or a “girl who can hold her own with the guys” feminist propaganda.

    That is politically correct BS.

    A key ingredient in making The Thing work was the mano a mano tension.

    And all the characters should be Norwegian
    -throwing in an American or Brit is a pandering attempt to
    create a character an Anglo audience can identify with.

    • Just because of woman is in the film does not make it PC, moron.

  18. Well, first off-it's obvious that Childs was a Thing at the end of Carpenter film. I myself didn't notice this until relatively recently: He's wearing a different colored jacket than when McReady and the rest left him. Your clothes are torn to shreds when you're “Thinged”, ergo….I think the implication is fairly clear.
    And there's no way this movie will be good. I personally don't really care for Moore's writing–don't hate him, just think he's vastly overrated in this department. The female cast member could work, but probably won't.

  19. Well, first off-it's obvious that Childs was a Thing at the end of Carpenter film. I myself didn't notice this until relatively recently: He's wearing a different colored jacket than when McReady and the rest left him. Your clothes are torn to shreds when you're “Thinged”, ergo….I think the implication is fairly clear.
    And there's no way this movie will be good. I personally don't really care for Moore's writing–don't hate him, just think he's vastly overrated in this department. The female cast member could work, but probably won't.

    • Ah that’s interesting.

      But Childs is armed in the last scene Macready appears not to be…so why doesn’t Childs just assimilate him or just fry him?

      The most logical interpretation of that final scene is that both are uninfected and that Childs followed Blair outside just as he said.

  20. cool movie monster is back in Antarctic and is bad for The People The Thing from 1982 is The Best horror movie 4 life end Winter 2011 hi is back 4 more horror

  21. Who Gose There?

  22. This movies IS in theory a very good idea. Having watched “The Thing” several times, and owning the director's cut, I know the story line wil be, if done right, interesting to see. The Norwegian Team's plight is well known to those who watched the original, and as long as they draw on what Kurt Russel discovered in the original while searching the Norse Camp, and incorporate that in the story, all will be well and good.

    This move does need better Creature design…but it has to blend in with the original as well. The Alien has to look mostly like what we're use to from John Carpenter's original

  23. Interested to see what they do, but I think they should have gone with a strictly Norwegian cast.

  24. This should be interesting, I always liked remakes of movies like, Superman Returns,The Dark Knight, and others more.It’s because back in the old days seeing it today, special effects were not that special. Let’s see if the new special effects would add more flavor and more viewers to the movie.

  25. There is good news for this flick. The cast will be mainly Norwegian with only about three American actors. The Norwegian dialogue supposedly will be subtitled, which is really good. From what I have read, the Norwegian dialogue adds to the tension due to ‘trust’ issues from the Americans. So, the director is making a smart move with this.

    More good news is the director is looking intently on the details from the 1982 film from the Norwegian camp to make everything accurate down to the axe that was in the door. Also, the character and the dog from the 1982 film is actually in the prequel. This very intriguing, since the events take place about three days before the 1982 film setting. So, the prequel has a director who seems very smart and actually is a thoughtful director.

    Now the major good news is, the director is using more practical effects than CGI. This is really good and an intelligent move. There will be CGI, but in ‘controlled’ amounts.

    Can’t wait for this flick.

    • —”the character and the dog from the 1982 film is actually in the prequel.”—

      What I meant was the character that chases down the dog in the opening scene of the 1982 film. Sorry, my bad for the lack of details.