We've known for almost a year now that a prequel to the classic John Carpenter sci-fi/horror, The Thing is on its way. Battlestar Galactica's Ronald D. Moore wrote a draft of the script, which was then rewritten by Eric Heisserer (who also penned the upcoming A Nightmare on Elm Street remake).
Heisserer spoke in August last year about the direction The Thing prequel was going - in particular how they're going to try and be accurate in relation to Carpenter's film (read: getting the details right and so forth). He also talked about a certain character that was in Moore's first draft: the brother of Kurt Russell's character in Carpenter's film. Although Heisserer stayed tight-lipped about whether or not that character made it through the rewrite okay, I personally think it's a good idea - if they can pull it off the right way (read: logically).
Last year, Heisserer said The Thing prequel could go into production as early as this month, but we get word from Production Weekly that it will start shooting this March in Toronto, running right through until June. That gives it a good four months shooting time - I'm no expert but that seems like plenty of time to me, especially for a film that isn't going to be a huge blockbuster in the vein of Transformers 2 or the upcoming Hobbit adaptation (the latter is reportedly going to shoot for more than a year!).
The prequel is set to focus on the events that went down in the Norwegian camp we saw in Carpenter's Thing. In case you don't know (and if you don't, I advise you to run out and rent or even buy Carpenter's version, ASAP), the film is set in an Antarctic research station where a mysterious shape-shifting alien kills the men there one by one, and over the course of the film the men discover a similar thing happened to the men stationed at a nearby Norwegian camp.
It's actually a clever idea to base a prequel film the Norwegian camp incident, as it gives this prequel a solid link to the original (read: not just a random plot) and also a clean slate to show us the mayhem that went down at the camp.
Excluding some unforeseen problems behind-the-scenes, it looks like The Thing prequel is moving ahead smoothly. Heisserer is writing the script (maybe he has finished it already), and set to direct is commercial director, Matthijs Van Hejningen (you can view a bunch of his commercials here if you're interested). All we need now is a cast... who can possibly top Kurt Russell, though?
Are you looking forward to The Thing prequel? Is a prequel a lot better of an idea than a remake? Who would you like to see cast in the movie?
As stated, The Thing is set to start shooting in March (lasting until June) in Toronto, but there's no release date been set as of yet. Stay tuned.
Sources: Production Weekly and /Film