The Thing that Could Have Been – What You Didn’t See in John Carpenter’s Masterpiece

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The Thing That Could Have Been - What You Didn't See in John Carpenter's MasterpieceLots of footage has come out that was unused from the premake of John Carpenter’s The Thing, but what you may not know is that the original 1981 film could have ended up a lot different as well. Read on for details.

The folks over at Badass Digest have led us to a blog which details a lot of the changes that the film went through to become the classic that it is as a result of a scheduling issue which allowed Carpenter some time to see a rough cut of the completed film so he could fix a lot of the flick’s problems by getting rid of the stuff that just didn’t work, such as Bennings and Fuchs’ original more slasher-film-like death scenes (images below).

In a nutshell, due to the aforementioned scheduling snafu, Carpenter found himself with 6 weeks of time on his hands between the film’s stage and location production. During this time he assembled a rough cut and, simply put, wasn’t happy with what he saw. Carpenter felt that the flick was too easy on the tension, spent too much time between the golden monster moments that we all love, and didn’t bring Mac as the hero to the forefront quickly enough. As a means to resolve these issues, he apparently cut a lot of footage (oh, how we’d love to see all of it) and then wrote a new script around his rough cut which added new character arcs and new kills.

Click here for a detailed breakdown of what was changed. Really fascinating stuff and a very good lesson for aspiring filmmakers.

The Thing

The Thing

The Thing

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