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.

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.

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Source: The Hollywood Reporter