Remake of John Carpenter’s The Thing is Actually… a Prequel?

It’s been common and unfortunate knowledge for a few years that a remake of John Carpenter’s classic, The Thing, was in development somewhere in Hollywood. Fans were outraged by the idea, which of course, is ironic as Carpenter’s movie is itself a remake of Howard Hawk’s The Thing From Another World. Since that initial announcement there’s been nothing new to report. Until now.

The folks over at Latino Review recently spoke with Marc Abraham, the director of the upcoming film Flash of Genius. More importantly, Abraham also happens to be the producer on The Thing reboot, to be written by Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald Moore. Asked if his new film would be a sequel or a remake, he replied “This is more of a prequel than a sequel… It’s going to take place in the same time frame. These are the events leading up to the 1982 film.”

So what exactly are the events leading up to the opening of The Thing? I ask rhetorically since anyone who’s seen the movie already knows. Some nutty Norwegians find an alien spacecraft buried in the Antarctic ice alongside the alien itself. They cut it from its frozen berth, bring it back to their station, it wakes up, kills most of the Nordic scientists, takes the shape of a dog, and runs off across the snowy tundra with the survivors in hot pursuit. Carpenter’s film picks things up there and follows the alien’s integration into the small population of a U.S. Antarctic research station. The team’s numbers dwindle, as one by one the shape-shifting alien (as well as fear, paranoia, and craziness) whittles them down to two. But are they both human?

Some questions. Also rhetorical. Do we need a whole movie to show us what The Thing already told us? Will the dialog be in Norwegian since that’s the language spoken by the guys chasing the dog in the beginning of the movie? Will the Nordic researchers all be played by hot, young actors and actresses similar to what happened with the remake of Carpenter’s The Fog? Will the effects consist mainly of CGI as opposed to the incredible (and still effective 26 years later) practical effects of Rob Bottin? Will the prequel reach even an iota of the paranoia and dread on display in Carpenter’s film?

And will it be as cool as this music video for French techno duo Zombie Zombie? It’s stop-motion fun featuring GI Joe vs. The Thing, and while the whole thing is pretty cool, the action starts around the four-minute mark for those of you with limited patience.

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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