Screenwriter Eric Heisserer Talks Bringing The Thing Story Full Circle

Screenwriter Eric Heisserer Talks Bringing The Thing Story Full CircleOne thing on the minds of horror fans everywhere concerning Universal’s upcoming prequel to the John Carpenter classic The Thing is how this new film is going about setting up the back story. Finally, we have a bit of a clearer picture of the proceedings.

Website I09 recently caught up with screenwriter Eric Heisserer, who shed some light on the subject plot-wise.

You’re actually in the Norwegian camp before all that stuff happens,” Heisserer tells the site. “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 film. That’s probably where the whole ‘fire axe in the door’ came from. Because we said, ‘We have to justify that; we have to have a moment in our movie where you see that happen.’

Heisserer continues, “If we do this right — I just spoke on the phone today with [producer] Eric Newman; 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.

We like! We definitely like. It’s really nice to hear so much attention going into the details of making this new film co-exist with the other. There’s a lot more goodness in the interview, too, including some creature talk. Hit up the above linkage to dig!

Universal’s prequel to The Thing is now shooting up in Toronto, Canada under the direction of Matthijs Van Heijningen. Look for more soon.

A Ph.D. candidate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) 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 (Joel Edgerton) to stop the rampage.

Uncle Creepy

Got news? Click here to submit it!
Find out who’s human in the Dread Central forums!

Image Type 1:

Box of Dread Black Friday
*Some International Shipping now available!

Steve Barton

You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

  • Vanvance1

    I’m a little less disturbed by the project now.

    I still think everything will wind up computer generated which will suck the joy out of the proceedings.

  • Ecto-1

    Personally, I prefer the mystery of not knowing every detail regarding what happened in the Norwegian camp. The fact that Carpenter only showed the aftermath, with the American characters and us the audience, piecing it together, is a lot more chilling and interesting.

    Depending on what the trailers are like etc, I’m not really excited about this one at all.

    • Terminal

      There’s no such thing as mystery when it comes to horror movies these days. Everything has to be explained with painstaking detail. Sad but what can you do but hope for the best, right?
      “We are bad guys. That means we’ve got more to do other than bullying companies. It’s fun to lead a bad man’s life.”

      • FireRam

        Correct! And then on top of THAT to make matters worse as mentioned by WIB on another thread yesterday they promote the movie by hurling 1000 stills at us along with three to four trailers and maybe an extensive interview with the cast and directors who discuss in detail the synopsis to the point where once you sit to see the movie it seems as though you have actually already viewed said movie.

        • G.D.

          “they promote the movie by…already viewed said movie.”

          And exactly how much of that are you forced to view/read?

          If I want to, I can read a draft of the Nightmare on Elm Street remake (which I have done) and go in with no mysteries.

          On the flip side, 100% of my knowledge of Christoper Nolan’s Inception is what I saw on the trailer that was released. I have specifically stayed away from any specifics about it. I picked up the Entertainment Weekly summer preview and started reading the piece on inception. I learned a few vague details that I hadn’t known about it and guess what? I stopped reading and I turned the page.

          If you complain that you know too much about a movie, you have absolutely nobody to blame but yourself. Unles, of course, there actually IS someone from Universal who tying you down, propping your eyes open and forcing you to read articles that you don’t want to read.

          If it’s lack of willpower, suck it up and stop reading. Simple as that.

          I go into a movie theatre knowing exactly as much as I want to know about a movie, unless I happen upon a review that has spoilers that aren’t tagged.

          • FireRam

            Wow. Where do I start. Ok, first I guess stop gritting my teeth and wishing you were within a few feet of me. It seems as though you took this personal when in fact it was a comment based on how much we are able to see of ANY movie recently before we see it. Another reader made a like comment in another thread and I was elaborating on that. My willpower has nothing to do with anything. And I’m not “complaining” I’m making an observation. And don’t tell me to suck anything up. I really don’t know wtf you are even talking about in your babble about what you read and what you did blah blah. It was a general comment toward the marketing of films today and not directed at ANYTHING specific. I No one is “complaining”. No one lacks willpower(seems like an awful personal comment and you don’t know shit about ME) and your “simple as that” reminds me of something some man bitch would say with his hands on his hips trying to make a point. It seems as though you are talking about YOUR writing and MY comment was a reply to another reader and it had nothing to do with YOUR writing.

  • Terminal

    It sounds like they’re paying attention. They say the first half of a double feature which I assume will be this prequel and John carpenter’s masterpiece. I get this itch that they’re going to have one of the characters escape as the thing and have it branch off as a story set during the story with MacReady at another camp or some other locale.
    “We are bad guys. That means we’ve got more to do other than bullying companies. It’s fun to lead a bad man’s life.”

    • Uncle Creepy

      “I assume will be this prequel and John carpenter’s masterpiece”


    • Pestilence

      I remember us two mentioning this exact thing in previous comments regarding the prequel – specifically the dude with the slit wrists and throat at the Norwegian camp.

      If they’ve really analysed and paid this attention, and filter all of the little things we saw in the original organically into this prequel then my anticipation meter just went up a notch.