This past weekend at New York Comic Con, we got the opportunity to sit in on the panel for director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s prequel of John Carpenter’s 1982 classic The Thing. Carpenter’s 1982 classic was a remake of Howard Hawk’s 1950’s classic The Thing From Another World which was based on a short story entitled “Who Goes There” by John W. Campbell.
Heijningen’s film covers the three days prior to Carpenter’s version. A Norwegian research team discovers an alien body frozen in Antarctica. Much like the Carpenter film, the alien is thawed and soon begins to wreak havoc on the research team who discover that it is a shape shifting being that now wants to copy life on Earth.
Very quickly, the team doesn’t know which of them is human or the thing. The film stars Joel Edgerton as the main hero, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World), Eric Christian Olsen (Community), and Ulrich Thomsen also make up the cast.
The 1982 version of the film has always been one of my favorite Sci-fi films which I will always watch when the first big snow fall of the year occurs. Going into the panel, I was very skeptical that Universal who is trying to cash in on its impressive library of classics, was going to do any justice to the original film. After watching the rush trailer that the director had finished the night before the con, erased all doubt.
A tremendous roar of applause came from the audience who also like myself, were die hard fans. In fact, several cast members jumped off the stage and went amongst the crowd because they too hadn’t even seen the trailer. The trailer was very well done with a lot of jump cutting to give the viewer the sense of panic, fear, and the terror that one can experience when they are cut off and isolated at the ends of the Earth.
The Q&A which followed the trailer was very well done. Audience members had asked the director and cast what their thoughts on the film were, and if there was tremendous fear of not doing justice to Carpenter’s version.
The director and most of the cast members are avid fans and had told the audience that Carpenter was very happy and honored that this prequel is staying very true to his film. The 2011 version was shot in Stewart British Columbia, Canada (the same location as in 1982), and many of the sets were recreated in the precise detail of Carpenter’s film.
The Thing is due out this upcoming spring.