The Thing (2011) prequel (with spoilers for The Thing)

I'm not holding out much hope for this one. A prequel sounds like a re-run of the first film, as we pretty much know that the same thing happened to the Norwegian crew.

I would have been mildly curious about a sequel where the alien infiltrates a town or something like that, but nothing will come close to the Carpenter film. Everything has to be so fast paced these days and The Thing was all brooding menace in between the moments when all hell brakes loose.
 

eiren

Distinguished Member
It makes it sound like they are remaking the original 'The Thing From Another World', and that this will make Carpenter's 'The Thing' a sequel to what went on in both the original movie and this new one.
 

raigraphixs

Distinguished Member
Update from script writer Eric Heisserer (Nightmare on Elm Street reboot), who is rewriting Ronald D. Moore's draft of 'The Thing'.

The forthcoming prequel/reboot that's being directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. In the interview he reveals who the main character could be, along with details on how they plan on referencing the original film in the new one. Heisserer says he is still working on his draft of THE THING, which could go into production as early as January of 2010.


Some early rumors were that the prequel would follow the brother of R.J. MacReady, who was played by Kurt Russell in the first film.

“That was certainly a character in Ronald Moore's draft, I can't comment on whether or not were going to keep that going forward.”

One of the best parts about making a prequel is that a writer gets to really dissect the first film in order to construct a backstory.

“It's a really fascinating way to construct a story because were doing it by autopsy, by examining very, very closely everything we know about the Norwegian camp and about the events that happened there from photos and video footage that's recovered,” he continues, “from a visit to the base, the director, producer and I have gone through it countless times marking, you know, there's a fire axe in the door, we have to account for that…were having to reverse engineer it, so those details all matter to us ‘cause it all has to make sense.”

“We explain how it got there,” he continues referring to the axe, adding that he found a way to bring suspense back to the film. “We're finding so much from Carpenter's movie that you think you've seen, but in actually it allows us to come up with certain twists on what we have that will allow people to be on the edge of their seat, and not know who's going to make it and who's not.”

In the screenplay by Ronald D. Moore that Eric is rewriting, the prequel takes place from the Norwegian camps point of view. An American scientific expedition to the frozen wastes of the Antarctic is interrupted by a group of seemingly mad Norwegians pursuing and shooting a dog. The helicopter pursuing the dog crashes leaving no explanation for the chase. During the night, the dog mutates and attacks other dogs in the cage and members of the team that investigate. The team soon realizes that an alien life form with the ability to take over bodies is on the loose and they don't know who may already have been taken over.


Im still confused by that last paragraph, the description has not changed since we first heard about the new film. So are they basically going start with a new beginning about the other camp?...but then end up following the same scenario as the John Carpenter film with the dog caged and mutating, then attacking the other dogs, and then some team members getting affected?

So is it basically a extended remake off the original. Unless Eric Heisserer is rewriting and changing that part. I guess it will become more clearly in months to come, it still isn't yet.
 

raigraphixs

Distinguished Member
Filming is due to start May 2010.

Using Eric Heisserer's (A Nightmare on Elm Street) version of the screenplay that begins when an alien spaceship is discovered far beneath the ice near a remote Antarctica outpost. A group of scientists decide to thaw out a creature from inside that kicks off the mayhem at the camp.


Casting Call - Possible Spoilers

KATE LLOYD - In her late 20s to early 30s, pretty, bright-eyed, intelligent, she's a graduate of Columbia and a Ph.D. candidate in paleontology (the study of prehistoric life). On the recommendation of her friend Adam Goodman, Kate is tapped for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by Dr. Sander Halvorson to join his research team in Antarctica, where an extraordinary discovery has been made. Upon arrival, Kate soon finds herself at odds with Halvorson about how best to proceed with the discovery -- an alien spaceship with a mysterious and sinister frozen THING found nearby -- specifically whether to transfer the specimen undisturbed to a more appropriate facility for analysis, or, per Halvorson's wishes, to drill into the specimen's ice encasement for a definitive tissue sample.

Kate's misgivings about her involvement grow when Halvorson ignores her advice and collects his tissue sample -- a critical error in judgment that ultimately frees the trapped organism and triggers a series of horrific incidents and attacks. Furthering her sense of isolation, most of the scientists at the site speak Norwegian, a language she doesn't understand. Kate looks to her friend, Adam, for help stopping Sander's obsession from getting them all killed, but eventually must take matters of life and death into her own hands...LEAD

DR. SANDER HALVORSON - In his late 30s to early 50s, austere, scholarly and imperious, he's a microbiologist from NYU who leads a science research team to Antarctica to help his old friend Edvard interpret and analyze an extraordinary discovery made beneath the ice. Sander, a brilliant scientist and a master of self-promotion, knows that his involvement in such an historic discovery will bring him fame and fortune. Blinded by ambition, he refuses to abandon the "project" even as the bodies pile up around him. He is annoyed when Kate, whom he considers more of an apprentice than an equal, disagrees with him and openly questions his decisions in front of the others...LEAD. Actor must be able to speak some Norwegian.

SAM CARTER - In his early 30s, rugged, handsome, blue-collar, he's a helicopter pilot with a private charter service that transports personnel and supplies from McMurdo Station to remote research sites across Antarctica. Carter is a mercenary. He flies when he wants, where he wants, and he flies for one reason: money. But his resourcefulness, experience and get-it-done mentality make him indispensable. Arriving at Thule Station, he is the first to suspect something strange and dangerous is going on. Trapped there by faulty equipment, he becomes an unlikely ally of Kate's -- he reminds her (in temperament) of her father, now deceased, also a pilot. He and his co-pilot Jameson are nearly killed in a helicopter crash as they attempt to leave under less than ideal conditions. Carter must ultimately join forces with Kate to stop the THING's rampage...LEAD

EDVARD WOLNER - In his mid 40s, gentle, erudite, loyal to a fault, this Norwegian geoscientist and his crew discovered an alien spaceship and a mysterious frozen THING buried in a deep crevasse in Antarctica. Edvard requested the assistance of his colleague Dr. Sander Halvorson and he's pleased to see his old friend arrive at the site. Both men have stars in their eyes, knowing that their combined findings will bring them fame in the scientific community, but after Edvard loses two of his men to the terrifying THING, he's ready to call it quits rather than risk more lives.sptv050769..SUPPORTING. Actor must speak Norwegian.

ADAM GOODMAN - In his early 30s, clever, brash, unapologetically ambitious, Adam comes to Antarctica as Halvorson's research assistant. A friend of Kate's since they were undergrads at Columbia, it is Adam who recommended her to Dr. Halvorson. Though his respect for Kate is genuine, ultimately, he is a likeable opportunist who believes his professional association with the esteemed Dr. Halvorson will advance his career. The trip to Antarctica appears, at first, to prove this theory correct. Unlike Kate, an idealist who makes decisions based on intuition and conscience, Adam is more of a pragmatist and a capitalist -- in scientist's clothing. As the circumstances turn more and more dire, Adam is forced to choose between ambition (Halvorson) or friendship (Kate). His survival hangs in the balance...

DEREK JAMESON - In his early 30s, African American, well-built, he is Carter's friend and co-pilot. This is Jameson's last season in Antarctica. He's moving to Florida and starting a jetboat business with his brother, a former big league prospect. The trip to Thule Station is just another flight for him, another day in the countdown before he leaves the South Pole. Trapped at the site with Carter when the helicopter malfunctions.

JONAS - This Norwegian man in his early 40s, who speaks with a thick accent is part of Edvard's crew. He's the team documentarian who takes flash photographs of the alien spaceship and plays poker with Colin to blow off steam. When the Thing begins wreaking havoc, Jonas decides to get the hell out of there, but the rest of the group stymies that plan... Submit Scandinavian actors only.

JULIETTE - In her early 30s, French, fluent in Norwegian, she was educated at the Oslo Geosciences Academy, and is one of the geologists who discovered the alien site in Antarctica. Sensing Kate's frustration with the language barrier, Juliette befriends her, providing helpful translations and a kind smile among strangers. As the story escalates toward crisis, Juliette convinces Kate that her colleague Lars has succumbed to the THING -- as a trick to conceal her own identity as the alien shape-shifter...

COLIN - Around 40 years old, quirky and a bit cynical, he sews some seeds of doubt and suspicion among his new colleagues, Kate and Adam, and he plays poker with Jonas to blow off steam. Submit British, East Indian, Spanish, Asian, etc, scientist types
 

Doctor Smirnoff

Well-known Member
Sounds like a stinker to me. The same remote setting, a similarly limited number of characters and a creature we're all familiar with... sounds like nothing more than a 90 minute deja vu.

Will it be in Norwegian? I imagine that the first scene of The Thing will be the last of this movie, and the characters weren't speaking English in that. :rolleyes:
 

Rambo John J

Distinguished Member
a Norwegian scientific research station with (acording to the casting list), just 3 Norwegians in it out of 9 people :confused:
I think they'll be playing fast and loose with what Carpenter set up in the original. For starters, the Norwegian's pilots are Americans, or English speakers at least, which makes me wonder who was flying the helicopter when they arrived chasing the dog. If they could speak English they'd hardly have been shouting at McReady and co in Norwegian.

I'm guessing we'll probably see Stellan Skarsgard in that cast acting alongside whoever they pick for the "Ripley" type role. I hope whoever gets to be the leading lady doesn't deliver the same kind of character as they did in AvP.

I don't want to trash this before they've even started shooting it but I'm not feeling too positive about this film from what I've read on this so far
 

SDMDAM

Well-known Member
Quite wrong actually! Carpenter's "The Thing" is left completely open ended, with the two surviving characters (and the audience) wondering if one or the other (or both!) have been taken over by the creature or remain human.

It's a perfect ending in my opinion.

If you watch the end closely some might say its obvious if one of them is "the thing" :)
 

Doctor Smirnoff

Well-known Member
does one of them have no breath or something, i can't remember?

Yeah, recall it being Giles (?) I think. Although Carpenter has said himself that even he had no preconception of who the true survivor was. Infact, does anyone else recall him stating that he'd actually written his own sequel some time back?

For those in need of what may turn out to be a more faithful continuation of the story, there's some good graphic novels (comics) available via ebay... will provide a link once I get chance to look it up!
 

Welsh Whirlwind

Well-known Member
Language-wise, lets face it, the studio is not going to put out a subtitled film...

What I'd like to see is the opening scenes subtitled Norweigan to start, before they merge into english translation, I've seen this done a few times before though the names of the specific films elude me, but I remember thinking it was an effective technique.
 

benmbe

Active Member
I am looking forward to this with interest, as I watched the 1980's version in the cinema when it was then released.....left a ''BIG'' impression indeed.

I shall be monitoring the progress throu the movie sites.

The main thing I hope for is that they spend the time with preproduction, filming and post production....ect..ect...

:eek::D:eek::D:eek:
 

Rambo John J

Distinguished Member
Language-wise, lets face it, the studio is not going to put out a subtitled film...

What I'd like to see is the opening scenes subtitled Norweigan to start, before they merge into english translation, I've seen this done a few times before though the names of the specific films elude me, but I remember thinking it was an effective technique.

they did it in Valkyrie, I was thinking they could get around it the same way myself but it'd scupper their plot point to have a language barrier between the members of the group be an issue. Could be why there's more english speakers in the Norwegian camp than Norwegian speakers though, but I guess it opens up the paranoia angle if you've got people huddled in the corner whispering in a foreign langauage.
I watched Inglourious Basterds again earlier, and that was probably about 60% subtitled. Maybe the fact that it made a lot of money might get the studio suits thinking that people do still watch movies when they have to read some of it (they're both released by Universal). At least this new Thing isn't going to be "Dawson's Creek High go to Winter camp"
 

raigraphixs

Distinguished Member


Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton have been cast. 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. A March 15th start date in Toronto is planned.
 

raigraphixs

Distinguished Member
The Thing Prequel production photo of Norwegian research camp exteriors, currently shooting in Toronto, Canada.

 

KiLLiNG-TiME

Distinguished Member
I love The Thing, I saw it at a very young age at the cinema when it came out I was 15 at the time & lived in a small village me & my best friend went, he's was taller than me so paid first. I tried to act all 18 :rolleyes: as I paid for my ticket, think I was more scared of the ticket woman than the film (that did changed after viewing though) who must have thought to herself not these two again :rotfl:, remember those days anyone!? Personally though I just think they needed to sell the tickets. Still I saw many films at that cinema that I really shouldn't have, I will always have found memories of that place & SDMDAM is quite correct about the ending of the first film :smashin:

I have to agree with the not sure about this one views, I think it will be a perfect example of a prequel that maybe should never be set free, find UFO...all but two killed horrible, ends with dog running into snow chased by two Norwegians in a helicopter...there done, the point is what's is there to learn story wise for us fans of the first? which two Norwegians males will survive...:facepalm:
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
what on earth? I must have had 10 notifications for your post, all at different times throughout the day.. do you keep deleting it and reposting it?
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
actually looking at all the emails, each time it's *slightly* different

just use the edit button mate, it's pretty irritating getting an email notification about the same post over and over
 

KiLLiNG-TiME

Distinguished Member
what on earth? I must have had 10 notifications for your post, all at different times throughout the day.. do you keep deleting it and reposting it?

Apogees about that, had to borrow an old laptop from work as my psu blew & it keeps crashing when i try to edit my post ...sorry
 

Marc

Distinguished Member
Apogees about that, had to borrow an old laptop from work as my psu blew & it keeps crashing when i try to edit my post ...sorry

no worries, as long as you don't start doing the same with this one cos you spelt apologies wrong ;)

i agree that a prequel has limited merit though, unless they can find some way of making the ending a twist, the fact that we know at least 2 norwegians survive and chase a dog in a helicopter, it means the end loses impact.
 
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raigraphixs

Distinguished Member
Screenwriter Eric Heisserer talks 'The Thing' with io9.

They are going with as much practical FXs as possible, so that's a good thing, no pun intended.


I've read two conflicting reports on the plot of the film, one might be just be from very early on in the planning stages of your rewrite, I'm a little confused and hopefully you can solve this for me. I read one plot synopsis that said the film was completely from the Norwegians' point of view, on their base, pre-burn down. Then I read another synopsis that said the audience sees the aftermath of the film's events, including the axe in the door, and they're figuring it out after it happened — almost like a crime scene. If the latter synopsis is accurate, will you be utilizing flashbacks to tell The Thing's prequel story?

Heisserer: No it's not flashbacks. You're actually in the Norwegian camp, before all that stuff happens. You get to see how it happens — that's the reverse engineering there. The way we approached it was by autopsy, where the director, producers and I pored over Carpenter's film. We must have screened it two or three dozen times. And we'd freeze frames and have lengthy discussions about what evidence is there, that would lead to so much blood. It was a forensic discussion of Carpenter's films. That's probably where the whole "fire axe in the door" probably came from. Because we said, we have to justify that, we have to have a moment in our movie where you see that happen. If we do this right — I just spoke on the phone today with [Producer] Eric Newman on the phone today, he's on set up in Toronto [and] he said things are going well. But if we can pull this off, this movie will work perfectly [as] the first half of a double feature. So that the last shot of this film will be two Norwegians and a chopper chasing after a dog. And you can plug in Carpenter's film and they will both feel and look as they have been made around the same time.

What were some of the moments you noticed in John Carpenter's version that you never noticed before, after analyzing it?

Heisserer: Well there are things that definitely called attention, [such as] dealing with the body in the chair. What we didn't notice before was that it looked like both his throat and his wrists were slit. And there are a lot of papers scattered on the floor that Copper picks up. And the stuff that we looked at closely were the holes in the walls and on the ceiling, in various parts of the base. And this is how anal retentive we were, we wanted to justify what happened to cause all those holes, pieces and incidental damage. You just know some set guy that day [during the original filming] was like, "well it burned down, let's put a hole here." [Laughs]. But the one thing we're not going to pull off well, because we realized it was just unrealistic and just one of those goofs, I guess, from Carpenter's films, is when they get into that giant block of ice that's been carved out. The way it's been carved where it looks like they just dug into it like a chicken pot pie — it's impossible to get something out of the ice like that. There are so many better ways to do it. So we deviated just a little bit from there, we tried to cover our tracks a little and justified it and showed that it can still work. But yes there are a couple of things where because we were logic cops all the way through this movie there are a handful of, "Wait a minute — how come... that doesn't work at all?!"

Good then — the logic cops can explain to me how someone can get a slashed throat and slashed wrists. Don't you lose dexterity, but I guess that's the mystery as to how that happened?

Heisserer: Yeah we had a problem with that as well, but hopefully we answer that and if not you can bust me on it next year.

I hear that you made a point of encouraging the director to use real practical effects, not CGI — was that important to you?

Heisserer: When I came on board — like a writer has any authority to do so — but I went in like I did and I stomped my feet and banged my fist on the table and I said. I'm not going to write this if it's going to be a CGI-fest. This has to be practical, this has to be an old school creature, as real as possible. Whatever CGI stuff it's going to have, has to be as good as or better than that, we can't get away with computer generated FX in this type of film.

Good for you — and thank you, from all of us. Thank you for asking for more real creature effects.

Heisserer: I think that may be why I got hired, of course I don't know. But it helps me to defend that and make sure that it happens. There was a moment of "You got moxie, kid."

What happened to Kurt Russell's brother, who we heard was a character in this film? Was that in the earlier version of Ronald D. Moore's script, did he make the cut?

Heisserer: We had to jettison that entire draft, including his brother. Because what we found happened with that was there was this constant reference to the Carpenter film. And it was kind of bringing a friend who was like, "oh hey remember this other thing we went to that was so much cooler?" You just didn't want to have that around. It felt weird.
 

Captain_Danger

Novice Member
The Thing is one of my favorite films. I like how its a small cast too and there are no women, makes it quite unique in that respect. You can guarantee now if it were made today you would have to have two women in it for the "love interest" or some other garbage.
 

soundstory

Well-known Member
The Thing is one of my favorite films. I like how its a small cast too and there are no women, makes it quite unique in that respect. You can guarantee now if it were made today you would have to have two women in it for the "love interest" or some other garbage.

According to John Carpenter, only one crew member was female but she was pregnant and this forced her to leave the shoot; she was replaced by a male.
 
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