produce a 4-hour miniseries sequel in 2005 titled RETURN OF THE THING. Scripted by David Leslie Johnson, the direct sequel’s screenplay got good reviews, but never materialized. In early 2009, Universal Studios announced that the producers of the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake would be handling a new version of THE THING. Oh, crap. But in a strange twist, they opted to do a prequel to Carpenter’s film rather than remake it. Okay, they just bought some much needed respect from me.
Set in the same winter of 1982, THE THING prequel opens with three Norwegians in a snow mobile tracking a strange signal under the ice, which gives way and offers them a glimpse at just what was sending out that signal. Cut to paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) in her lab examining a frozen fossil. She is recruited by Norwegian scientist Sander Halversen (Ulrich Thomsen) and his assistant (and her possible old flame) Adam Goodman (Eric Christian Olsen) to head to Antarctica to help extract something from the ice. All she is told is that they have discovered a large structure and a specimen. Flown to the isolated Norwegian base by American Sam Carter (Joel Edgerton) and his two co-pilots, Kate and the scientific team are quickly whisked away to the discovery site where Edvard Wolner (Trond Espen Seim) shows them what all the fuss is about – a huge spaceship and its sole inhabitant encased in ice. The crew carves the solidified space invader out and, once back at the station, Halversen orders a tissue sample to be taken. Bad news as it causes the thing to thaw out and you can guess what happens next.
“If I was an imitation, a perfect imitation,
how would you know it was really me?”
– Childs (Keith David) in THE THING (1982)
“Producer Newman said that the balance
is about 80/20 practical to CGI”
-AICN set report on THE THING
“Now I'm gonna show you what I already know.”
– MacReady (Kurt Russell) in THE THING (1982)
UPDATE (in Robert Stack voice): Tom pointed me to this video showcasing the practical FX that the production initially used before the execs decided it was best to cover them in bad CGI. A classic case of Hollywooditis and whatcouldbeen.