Twenty nine years is a long time to wait for a prequel. If 1982’s Kurt Russell-starring sci-fi horror The Thing was made today it would no doubt be part of a ready-to-go franchise.
As it is, fans have had to cling to whispered rumours of sequels, prequels and remakes for years, with original director John Carpenter even pitching his own ideas for The Thing 2 in the last decade. Now, finally, it’s been announced – a prequel, also called The Thing, is being released this year.
But despite what Guinness claim, good things don’t always come to those who wait. Fully grown men across the world who weep at the mention of Jar Jar Binks can attest to that. The Thing, however, looks like it will dodge the hazards that dog so many long-awaited films.
The first idea pitched to the producers was for a straight remake, but they held the original in such high regard (“it would be like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa”) that they fought for their prequel idea that told the story of the ill-fated Norwegian crew – alluded to in Carpenter’s film – who first discovered the shape-shifting alien. And to do it justice, they hired rising Dutch director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. Finally, in a bid to ensure due reverence was paid, every minute piece of detail known about the decimated camp was researched to ensure there were no contradictions between the films.
But it’s the cast where The Thing truly shows off its potential. Star of Oscar-nominated Australian drama Animal Kingdom Joel Edgerton (pictured) and Scott Pilgrim’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead play the sci-fi-icons-in-the-making lead roles.
So, a long time to wait, but The Thing is shaping up like it might be worth every moment.