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Producers discuss The Thing prequel

03.16.2010

A prequel to John Carpenter's sci-fi paranoia masterpiece THE THING is now underway, and apparently Universal is hoping it turns into a smash hit after their $100 million A-lister action movie GREEN ZONE thunked at the box office.

The movie, described as a "companion piece" to Carpenter's classic, focuses on the body-hopping shape-changing alien as it decimates a Norwegian research base before being discovered by MacReady and friends in Antarctica. Fortunately for us, the base wasn't actually full of Norwegians, and one of those non-Norwegians is Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a paleontology grad student. Unfortunately for us, the chilly temperatures will deter attire such as this.

Producers Marc Abraham and Eric Newman (who also successfully remade DAWN OF THE DEAD) talked a bit about the project with the LA Times, and attempted to assuage fears from those who hold THE THING in high regards. "One of our all-time favorite films is Ridley Scott's ALIEN," Abraham said. "It's elegant, really scary and has characters that you care about. In a way, it's our model for this project, which gives us an opportunity to try to do something cool."

"I'd be the first to say no one should ever try to do JAWS again and I certainly wouldn't want to see anyone remake THE EXORCIST,"  Newman said. "And we really felt the same way about THE THING. It's a great film. But once we realized there was a new story to tell, with the same characters and the same world, but from a very different point of view, we took it as a challenge. It's the story about the guys who are just ghosts in Carpenter's movie -- they're already dead. But having Universal give us a chance to tell their story was irresistible."

The untitled prequel (THE FIRST THING? THE REAL THING? THAT THING YOU DID?) also stars Aussie Joel Edgerton (SMOKIN' ACES, THE SQUARE), has a budget around $38 million, and marks the feature debut of commercials director Matthijs Van Heijningen. It's due in theaters mid-2011.

Extra Tidbit: The budget for Carpenter's 1982 movie was around $15 million.
Source: LA Times

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