A team of researchers set out to study an alien spacecraft found in Antartica where they also discover an alien body on the site. The alien buried in ice is actually alive and has the ability to imitate human form. The group must find a way to distinguish who the real person is from The Thing and stay alive. The 2011 film serves as a prequel to the film with the same name shown in 1982. The 2011 movie was directed by Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr. and written by Eric Heisserer, based on the short story Who Goes There by John W. Campbell Jr; the 1982 movie was directed by John Carpenter with screenplay by Bill Lancaster.
The cast of the 2011 movie is led by actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who plays Kate Lloyd. Other cast includes Joel Edgerton (Carter), Ulrich Thomsen (Dr. Sander Halvorson), Eric Christian Olsen (Adam Finch), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Jameson), Paul Braunstein (Griggs), Trond Espen Seim (Edward Wolner), Kim Bubbs (Juliette), Jorgen Langhelle (Lars), Jan Gunnar Roise (Olave), Stig Henrik Hoff (Peder), Kristofer Hivju (Jonas), Jo Adrian Haavind (Henrik), Carsten Bjornlund (Karl) and Jonathan Walker (Colin).
The cast of the original film includes Kurt Russel (R.J. MacREady), Wilford Brimley (Dr. Blair), T.K. Carter (Nauls), David Clennon (Palmer), Keith David (Childs), Richard Dysart (Dr. Copper), Charles Hallahan (Vance Norris), Peter Maloney (George Bennings), Richard Masur (Clark) and Donald Moffat (Gary).
The 1982 film, however, is also a remake of the 1951 film titled The Thing from Another World. A post-credit scene in the 2011 film serves as its connection to the 1982 film as the only known survivor is being saved by a helicopter. A dog, who is the alien in disguise attacks and that scene is similar to where the previous film started.