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Eight Stills From THE THING Prequel!


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#1 of 25 SWFF

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Posted October 04 2010 - 06:36 AM

DREAD CENTRAL: They in turn got the pics from Bloody Disgusting. Looks like a carbon copy of Carpenter's version except with different actors. Still looking forward to checking this out next Spring. Well, at any rate, it should fit in visually with his flick.


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#2 of 25 SWFF

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Posted October 04 2010 - 02:33 PM

I'm getting more intrigued by this flick after reading the article below. (The hi-res photos are the ones I posted in the opening post).

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________


SHOCK TILL YOU DROP: For hi-res versions of all images you see in this report and in our interviews, follow this link.

If there's a vision as glorious as Mary Elizabeth Winstead wielding a flamethrower, then we've yet to see it in our lifetime, but that was very much the highlight of a full day ShockTillYouDrop.com spent at Pinewood Studios in Toronto on the set of Universal's The Thing.

There was a time when horror remakes weren't looked at with complete and utter disdain, back when the likes of David Cronenberg and John Carpenter were being hired to re-imagine classic monster movies of the '50s and '60s. In the latter case, it was Carpenter's 1982 take on the 1951 sci-fi thriller "The Thing From Another World" that helped kick off that tradition and John Carpenter's The Thing has long been considered a classic in its own right. In Carpenter's hands, the "Thing" was a space virus that came to earth aboard a spaceship that crash lands in Antarctica. After wiping out a Norwegian scientific base, it's transmitted to an American base where Kurt Russell and his crew have to figure out which of them have become infected - something that becomes evident when they start transforming into horrific semblances of humans. (The haunting correlations to the AIDS virus that began to rear its ugly head around the same time during the early '80s made Carpenter's film work on much more than one level.)

Word that Universal hoped to do a new version of The Thing was met with a similar degree of scorn, as with every other announcement of projects with familiar names, except this "Thing" isn't a remake as much as a prequel, or as Universal marketing is calling it, a "prelude," with hopes of relaunching the lesser-known Universal movie monster into a franchise. Instead of telling the same story Carpenter did in his movie, this movie would actually go back in time and fill in the blanks by showing what happened at the Norwegian base before the intriguing opening sequence of a dog being chased across the snow by a helicopter.

With only two survivors of the base in the helicopter at the opening of the "JC" film - as he is lovingly called by the cast of the crew of the movie - it raised questions not only in the mind of Kurt Russell and the men at his base, but also anyone who saw the film, including producers Marc Abraham and Eric Newman of Strike Entertainment, who had a hit with Zack Snyder's remake of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead. There were so many signs of what sort of horrors must have taken place at the other base in Carpenter's film from the charred remains of those who weren't able to escape, and the idea was to reverse-engineer from those few tidbits to tell the full story.

The new film is directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., a second-generation Dutch filmmaker, who was originally slated to direct the planned Army of the Dead sequel. When that was backburnered, he was suggested for this high-profile project. We got the impression while on set that van Hejningen was an old-school filmmaker who likes shooting with one camera at a time to make the most out of the lighting. Although his movie would dovetail with the original, he was going to be making it his own and according to the producers, they went back to the original 1938 novella by John Campbell that inspired the 1951 movie The Thing From Another World.

As much as the JC movie was a huge influence on everyone, they already knew that they wouldn't be using Ennio Morricone to score the prelude, although the hopes are that the Carpenter movie could be watched right after it, being that the prequel would also be set in the early '80s.

Before visiting the set, we had already heard that the majority of actors would be Norwegian with many faces that may look familiar even if you don't know their names. This was done mainly for authenticity, to the point where they would often be talking in their native tongue with subtitles. We were told that these guys are mainly biologists and geoscientists who are intrigued by the spaceship they find out in the mountains. There would still be a number of Americans, two of them played by an Australian and a British actor, with Joel Edgerton playing helicopter pilot Sam Carter and Adewale "Adi" Akinnuoye-Agbaje, best known for roles like Mr. Eko on "Lost" and Simon Adebisi on HBO's "Oz," as his friend Derek Jameson. The aforementioned Mary Elizabeth is playing Kate Lloyd, a scientist who has traveled to the Norwegian base from America along with Eric Christian Olsen's Adam Goodman to study the findings of the Norwegians.

We arrived at Pinewood's appropriately-named "Megastage" to witness them shooting a rather tender moment between Joel and Adi on the main set where they'd be filming while we were there, the base's rec room. Clearly, things have started to go to sh*t by the time we joined them on set. Some of the infected have already started to reveal themselves, but no one knows who, and they've gathered in the rec room to figure things out. This was part of a two-day action scene, which would climax with the aforementioned bit with Mary Winstead and her flamethrower. (We noted that Joel also had a flamethrower strapped to his back.)

The scene we watched starts with Adi slamming back into the wall and falling down choking. Joel goes forward to attend to his friend, telling him that he needs "to get the air out." On the ground, he looks up at Joel and says, "You're my buddy, right? Don't let me end up like one of those things. Burn me." This scene was done many times with Adi sometimes talking in hushed whispers and other times talking louder, giving Matthijs whatever he needed. We never learned if he was actually infected or just freaking out.

Between takes, we were able to walk around the interior sets, and it pretty much was made up of all the rooms you'd expect in any sort of Antarctic base where people would be camped out for months at a time. It was pretty obvious that the art department and props had gone out of their way to stay true to the early '80s setting of the original movie with lots of vintage magazines, lots of National Geographic magazines, beer bottles and old VHS tapes. There were lots of Norwegian books in there as well as a picture of Miss Norway on the wall. When we were able to get into the area where they were filming, we could see that the place had been trashed, a pool table upended and the ornate stained glass lamp above it had been smashed with glass everywhere.

There wasn't much left of the lab of Dr. Halverson, played by Ulrich Thomsen, by the time we got there, as it had already been set on fire, leaving the remains of an infected alien on the table, charred to a crisp. There was also a kitchen area with all of the usual pots and pans, a fully stocked pantry with canned foods and a dining area, which there really isn't much to say about, the communication room was filled with reel-to-reel players and outdated computers and a map room with all sorts of areas of Antarctica mapped out. It was clear that they were going for authenticity in every room. Off to the side of the stage was a large personnel helicarrier, which was probably what Carter used as a transport plane to fly people into the base.

Just by the nature of set visits, there were a ton of spoilers when we visited the set about who becomes infected and how they're killed, which we can't reveal as that would spoil a lot of the fun, but we did get to see a couple of the remains of one unlucky soul whose pelvis had been ripped open with muscles and bone coming out of his torso with long tubes leading from this corpse to the remote controls to bring this infected to life. We also saw some of the FX department, who we'd have a chance to talk to later, working on other creatures elements including a long stretched-out arm that clearly belonged to another infected. From the nearby storyboards, we could see that sometime during the chaos, there's a severed arm that grows spindly insect legs then attacks someone else, which is right in line with the freakiness of the JC movie. Two of the men responsible for the practical FX are Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, who were such fans of the original movie that they wanted to pay homage to what Rob Bottin did with the transformations in the JC movie.

One thing that makes this prequel intriguing is that it promises to actually show the spaceship that the Norwegians find out on the tundra, of which we only see vestiges of the dig in the original movie. The production was able to shoot some of the exteriors in British Colombia just five miles from where they shot Carpenter's movie, but due to the hard weather there, they also shot some stuff north of Toronto and had taken over another stage for the base's exterior and the nearby generator room where a couple of the team would come to an untimely end. The entire soundstage had been covered with very real-looking Styrofoam snow that looked very real until you started walking on it.

Underneath the generator was something clearly not human, which we were told was the alien found in the spaceship that brings the virus to earth. This large insectoid creature had crab pincers and insect legs, and we watched as the rest of the FX crew were working to get Gillis out of the bug suit where he'd been for them to do a few camera tests. It was strange seeing this alien creature in the light but we were reassured we would only be seeing fleeting glimpses of it as it mainly stayed in the shadows, scuttling under the generator sometime after being brought to the base.

Storyboards at the side of the stage gave us some idea what they would be shooting in that space, which involved some of the base's occupants wandering around the generator with flashlights at night before one of them is attacked by a tentacle then pulled underneath by this infected alien. Even though they would be creating lots of the mutated infected, some aspects of the creatures, like tentacles and such, would be replaced by CG in post-production.

After spending some time talking to the FX guys, we went back to the main stage where we got to watch Mary Elizabeth do her thing. She looked very serious as she started at something intently and breathing heavily as she makes the decision to let out a blast of flame from the flamethrower, burning someone (or something) that we couldn't see. She was quite fearless as she walked around between takes with the flamethrower lit, jogging in place and doing knee bends to keep limbered up while carrying all that weight on her back. Then the camera would roll and she'd let out another giant fireball towards the camera.

That's pretty much all that we can say about our visit, but by clicking on the appropriate link below, you can check out the interviews we did with the four actors:

Mary Elizabeth Winstead – "Kate Lloyd"

Joel Edgerton – "Sam Carter"

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje – "Derek Jameson"

Eric Christian Olsen – "Adam Goodman"

The Thing is scheduled to open nationwide on April 29, 2011. Look for our interview with director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. and the FX crew sometime later this week leading up to the premiere of footage at New York Comic-Con. We also had a chance to talk to producers Marc Abraham and Miles Dale, which we may run sometime down the road.
 



#3 of 25 Kevin M

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Posted October 05 2010 - 05:35 AM

................so what.    I'm sorry but I'm another filmfan who's sick and tired of this remake-itus gradually overtaking Hollywood, yes I know this is considered a "prequel" but whatever.....they find a spaceship, they get infected, they try to find out who's human, they blow it all up, two are left......it's a rehash plain and simple.


On a side opinion, Alex Gillis and Tom Woodruff are pretty good....but IMO they are no Rob Bottin as far as raw imagination goes and any attempt to "pay homage" to his work still has a feeling to me of "we can do it better".


Perhaps I'm just jaded about this stuff.


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#4 of 25 SWFF

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Posted October 05 2010 - 06:08 AM

Generally, this is how I feel, too, about the umpteenth announcement of whatever remake Hollywood thinks it can make even more money off of, but, there are just some remakes that make a blip on my radar; this is one of them. Actually, that's right, it's a prequel, but you know it's gonna go down just like the first flick.


I don't know why Rob Bottin isn't returning to try and top his creations from Carpenter's version? Maybe, he was asked and declined, who knows. I did hear rumors earlier in the year that they were gonna go with as much practical in-camera effects as they could.


I suppose we won't know anything for sure until that first teaser hits the web. I'm kinda looking forward to it, at the moment.



#5 of 25 TravisR

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Posted October 05 2010 - 07:02 AM

It's hilarious that anyone complains about remakes and prequels for a movie that is a remake in the first place.



#6 of 25 SWFF

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Posted October 05 2010 - 07:19 AM

Ha! Didn't think of that way. I essentially take each remake and/or prequel movie by movie rather than condemning them all. Though, I do have my moments when the big picture of it all makes me wanna retch. DAWN OF THE DEAD, I thought, was an excellent remake.



#7 of 25 TravisR

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Posted October 05 2010 - 07:28 AM

Originally Posted by SWFF 

I essentially take each remake and/or prequel movie by movie rather than condemning them all.



Same here. It's not that I think there's all that many great remakes but I still try to have an open mind. I do think that they've gotten to the bottom of the barrel and are remaking average and bad movies so some remakes are better than the originals but only because the original was lousy to begin with.



#8 of 25 SWFF

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Posted October 05 2010 - 12:19 PM

Actually, that makes more sense. Try and remake a bad or mediocre movie into a great one rather than remake an already proven classic. But you know why they do that don't you? They figure if the already flawless original has made them this amount of money, well, they think, let's do it again, and people will flock to it simply because it's a remake and/or prequel of an already flawless movie, which means even more money for them. Name recognition=more money for the studio, at least, that's always been my theory.




#9 of 25 Kevin M

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Posted October 05 2010 - 04:22 PM

I don't think of the 1982 The Thing as an out and out remake as they went back to the original short story's concept of a shape-shifter with the "ten little indians" paranoid approach.   It was a remake in the title but pretty far afield from the 1951 film's storyline.


This prequel sounds like pretty much a rehash of the 82 version.....will they all speak in Swede......AH, erm....Norwegian?


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#10 of 25 SWFF

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Posted October 06 2010 - 03:24 AM

I have always said, this "prequel" is really a "prequel/remake," which is why I bet they jumped on this particular concept rather than a direct sequel. And what would that sequel have been? It should be about the alien making it to some form of civilization, but, you know, the studio would find some way to keep it based firmly on some kind of research base surrounded by snow and ice. Again.


I hope it doesn't come to that, if a sequel is ever greenlit.



#11 of 25 Steve Christou

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Posted October 06 2010 - 03:41 AM

I know you gentlemen have been through a lot, but when you find the time, I'd rather not spend the rest of this winter TIED TO THIS F@CKING COUCH!


Dave hören... auf, wille stoppen sie Dave... stoppen sie Dave... Mein gehirn geht... Ich bin gefühl es... Ich bin gefühl es... Ich bin ängstlich Dave... Guter Nachmittag. Ich bin ein HAL 9000 computer. Ich wurde funktionsfähig am HAL-Betrieb in Urbana, Illinois auf January 12 1992.


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#12 of 25 SWFF

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Posted October 06 2010 - 04:07 AM

So, I have been wondering if they'll be able to top the rather iconic theatrical poster of the '82 version. I know there's a teaser poster out there, but I didn't even bother posting it because, well, frankly, it sucks. Might as well wait for the official one to see how it compares to the one (left) below. I also like that second version, anyone know if it was, perhaps, the '82 teaser? Or, the overseas poster?

  http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/  http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/



#13 of 25 SWFF

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Posted October 10 2010 - 05:23 AM

This is from DREAD CENTRAL, and it gives some hard evidence that there was indeed some CGI enhancement to the alien's in-camera effects.


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


Nomad has reported in with a bit more info on what went down during today's panel for The Thing prequel that included director Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr.; producers Eric Newman and Marc Abraham; and stars Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, and Joel Edgerton. Mary Elizabeth Winstead didn't attend as she was off getting married instead (the nerve!).


The trailer they debuted, which mainly showed "short glimpses of snowy action sequences with very little dialogue to go along with it [but] plenty of screaming and explosions" (according to Cinema Blend), was the first time the cast saw the monster with its CGI enhancements. On set the monster was comprised of practical motorized parts, and the actors were grateful not to have to react to just a tennis ball.  


The producers said they were big fans of the original and looked in the catalogue to see what they wanted to remake. They felt the original was too good to remake so they went with prequel (but from what we saw and heard, it still sounds like it's a damned redo): They find the alien and try to figure out who is the alien.


In any event, everyone seemed to want to be a part of it because of their love of the original and for Carpenter. They mentioned John was very nice to work with and they are looking forward to doing so again when and if they do the They Live remake (which Abraham and Newman are also signed up for), but they are seeking out a good script before they move on it.

Keep it here for more from the 2010 NYCC as it comes in. 



#14 of 25 Kevin M

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Posted October 10 2010 - 04:06 PM

THEY LIVE TOO!?!?!?!?    IT WAS A SATIRE ON REGANOMICS AND THE 80'S YUPPY MINDSET FOR GOD'S SAKE!!


Give it a rest you bunch of lazy ass, unoriginal, pathetic............................AAAAAHHHHHGGGGG!!!!



....sorry.    I'm better now.


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#15 of 25 SWFF

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Posted October 11 2010 - 09:14 AM

Bootleg trailer shows up online. Doesn't look bad, but if the person taping it would have kept his hand steadier, maybe, I could see the damn thing better. Couldn't make out any monster stuff, though.


 



I also found this little tidbit online, which is gearing me up even more to see this mother of a movie!


SYFY: Joel Edgerton, who plays helicopter pilot Sam Carter, said fans who love the original will finally get to discover how some of the biggest mysteries at the Norwegian camp came to be in the prequel. "A few of the things you do know about the original film, like the man who committed suicide, the ax in the door and the first morphed alien/human figure, you'll see how it all happens and who those people are. It's a great story about the mixture of grunt workers and scientists that get stuck in this terrible mess. It crosses a lot of t's and dots a lot of i's from that first half an hour of Carpenter's movie."



#16 of 25 Kevin M

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Posted October 12 2010 - 04:51 AM

"Sam Carter"?    So, how many actual Norwegian characters are in this flick?  And another thought, since there are americans in the cast I assume the norwegian characters will know a little english (a LOT in fact as I can't see a producer thinking that a younger audience would be ok with that many subtitles) Right?  ...............if so then how do they explain the main Norwegian at the beginning of the 82 film not speaking anything but norwegian to the clearly designated american outpost?   He suddenly forget in all the excitement?    I suppose they could make his character the one guy who doesn't speak english very well in the group.


I also don't want too many "mysteries" revealed in the film as the lack of clear explanations goes a long way to creating a good mythos/legend, let the audience come up with there own answers.....such as not letting the "THING" speak it's own thoughts as they refused to in Carpenter's film, you shouldn't be able to fathom the alien mind of this thing too much aside from the basic hunter/prey variety.




I am a cynic and pretty protective of the films I loved in my youth I admit but my interest in this is lowering the more I read.   They say that they are going to stick to practical effects but we all know they won't....just more animation. 

I'm just a grumpy ol' man protecting his memories of favorite films I suppose but I find it very hard to get exited over any of these remakes anymore......in truth I haven't had much excitement about them in a long long time.


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#17 of 25 SWFF

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Posted November 13 2010 - 03:15 AM

According to Fangoria it's no longer slated for its April 29th release, and is now undated.



#18 of 25 SWFF

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Posted November 23 2010 - 07:35 AM

It now has a new date. Fangoria announced it's set for October 14, 2011.



#19 of 25 Kevin M

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Posted November 23 2010 - 10:01 PM

Wow, that's quite a jump in release times......generally speaking that isn't a good sign for a film, but maybe they are trying to "get it right".


-Kevin M.

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- Roger Ebert
 

#20 of 25 Russell G

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Posted November 24 2010 - 05:10 AM

Originally Posted by Kevin M 

Wow, that's quite a jump in release times......generally speaking that isn't a good sign for a film, but maybe they are trying to "get it right".


It's probably just marketing.  Instead of dumping it before the May blitzkrieg of big name films for it to get lost in, drop it in October for Halloween.

m usually pretty quick to right off some of these remakes/prequels, but I love the original and Carpenter versions enough to give this one a fair chance.  Not to give it extra pressure to perform or anything :P