Thing Prequel Finally Happening?

Will we finally see their backstory?For years we’ve been hearing about sequels and/or remakes of John Carpenter’s horror/sci-fi classic The Thing being in various stages of conceptualization. But the one thing that always made sense to horror fans was a film that depicted just what happened to the Norwegian research team who were attacked first.

Finally someone’s seeing it our way, specifically producer Marc Abraham, who told Latino Review that a new idea is being developed to run in the time leading up to the 1982 film. Hopefully that means we’ll see the team who pulled The Thing out of the ice and thawed it out and just what kind of damage it caused before jumping in the body of a dog and infiltrating MacReady’s camp.

Hopefully we’ll be hearing more about this soon; it’s been a long freaking development time for anything Thing-related and this is the most exciting advance yet.

Johnny Butane

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Johnny Butane

  • G.D.

    What’s the point of a prequel? Sounds really exciting, to have the last shot of the movie being a dog running away.


    • Terminal

      I think it could be pulled off with the right editing. Have the last characters killing each other, and the dog slipping out of frame. Cut to credits.

      • G.D.

        Yeah, but ideally you don’t want to make a carbon copy of the first, and with a prequel, you are going into the movie knowing that the ending’s going to basically be the same as Carpenter’s movie, except there’s no chance it’s going to be as cool as Russell and David at the end.

        For my money, if you’re going to do something with the movie, you might remake it and do a movie as different from Carpenter’s movie as Carpenter’s was different from Hawks’s movie.

        Either way, I can’t get excited for a remake of a Carpenter movie…there’s not much of a track record there…

        • Terminal

          Me neither. I’m just saying what could work. By all expectations this will be mediocre at best. These days sequels are either their own movie with no continuity, or just carbon copies.

          • G.D.

            Yeah, it definitely could work, you’re absolutely right. I guess I just have no faith in this “age” of sequels and remakes. If this was even a few years ago when Darabont wanted to do it just because he loved the idea, rather than because this just happening because every movie is currently in some stage of development as a remake. I’ll reserve judgement until there is much more development…at the very least, until a writer and director are attached and we get some details or some idea of what to expect.

            I’d love for it to be a cool continuation (err…pre-tinuation?) of the story, but JUST the idea of it being a prequel doesn’t do much for my enthusiasm.

  • frank_dracman

    My idea? Why, I’m glad you asked!
    Another movie set in the frozen tundra with a small group of people being stalked by an unknown enemy seems a like too much of the same. Plus it would be what we expect. So why not start the movie at the base, then move it to another location via infected survivor? After all, it only looks like everyone in the base died. But they were rescued, taken elsewhere and then all hell breaks loose. the thing rampaging through a Norwegian hospital perhaps?

    • Gus Bjork

      Have you ever hung out with a Norwegian? You couldn’t tell if they were the Thing or not regardless of infection. They already are the same person!

      But it’s a good point you make about the movie repeating itself.

      How about McReady and Childes escape death through a time-warp created by the Things technology and Ben Franklin saves the day?

      • PelusaMG

        How about… The Thing: The Musical?

        Seems to be all the rage these days… and here’s some lyrics I’m happy to donate to the cause:

        “Oh I’m here all alone in my room,
        And something’s touching my leg!
        It’s very slimey,
        Slipping inside me…

    • Gus Bjork

      Very much agreed.

      I think the concern that the prequel would be a carbon copy of the original is valid if you stay with the assumption that the action will all take place at the Norwegian base. I don’t think that has to be the case. The business with the Norwegians finding the ship, bringing something back, the apparent disaster at the base and the two guys chasing off after the dog could be condensed into the first act or even tighter. From there we jump off. Maybe another helicopter left for McMurdo base with some of the Norwegian crew and ‘something else’. The base was destroyed, there were the burned remnants of the monster in mid transformation and I think the one dead body (the wrist slitting guy). That’s all we know right? How about the story picks up from there and maybe runs parallel with the original. Remember, no one at the US base in the original was able to reach anyone from the outside. Maybe there was more going on in the outside world that would be quite disturbing…. that the safest place to have been was this isolated base. If you think Alien to Aliens you had the same threat but expanded. This could do the same thing. What would a larger area being controlled by The Thing be like if it’s no longer simply on the run?

  • bulletcrazy

    You could make the language thing work, just do it the way they did it in Hunt for Red October, with the zoom in on the lips and transition to english. My problem is this feels very unnecassery and wouldn’t work well as a movie. I liked how in the thing, we had to imagine what happened to the team, plus, now that you know what the creature is, you lose most of the tension in them discovering it (which is why the thing worked so well).

    • Terminal

      True that.

    • Gus Bjork

      Thank you for bringing up Hunt for Red October. It was making me nuts trying to remember which movie did the language thing intelligently like that.

      In a prequel you’ll lose some tension with most of your viewers knowing what’s up. But you know when I saw the Thing in the theater I knew too and it was still very effective. I don’t think there was any great mystery to the story. You can sell almost anything with good direction and acting. Imagine that JC never made his version and years later the Sci-Fi channel got a hold of Who Goes There?

      But you’ll still have tension on who lives and dies, especially since what we seem to know is that by the beginning of The Thing all the Norwegians are dead but a good screenwriter and director could play with that. You sit down and say okay what do people expect coming in and how can I use that to my advantage? If you have talent and dedication behind it, it will work well. If it’s simply a cash-in it won’t.

  • Terminal

    They’ll never do the prequel completely in Norwegian.

    • Gus Bjork

      No, I don’t suppose they would, would they. They could simply introduce the characters as Norwegian and have them speak in English the entire film WITHOUT having an accent. It would take a little thought on how to make it work for a standard audience. What I hope they avoid is having an American or two with the group so they have an excuse for the Norwegians to speak english throughout. It’s lazy and it’s patronizing.

      Regardless it’s probably the best way I can think to approach The Thing as a property. Although I always thought setting it in America during the Revolution would be best. You could have Ben Franklin as the scientist guy who figures it out. There needs to be more horror/monster movies set in Colonial America besides Salem witch stuff.