Ron Moore’s The Thing Prequel Gets a Rewrite


We’ve been getting infrequent updates about the prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing over the past couple of years, and last we heard, a director had been hired and it looked like they were almost ready to start shooting. The most intriguing part of the project is the fact that it was written by Ronald D. Moore of Battlestar Galactica fame, which means it could either be really clever and cool or really cheesy and melodramatic! This week, however, a new development seems to bring Moore’s script into question.

According to Bloody Disgusting, a guy named Eric Heisserer has been hired to do what sounds like a complete rewrite on the prequel. Heisserer recently did a rewrite for the Nightmare on Elm Street prequel as well. He has confirmed his involvement on his personal blog, where he also offered these additional comments:

I jumped at this job because I hold the Carpenter adaptation to very high standards, and I knew it would be a challenge to create a comparable companion piece. Sort of a “Nobody better screw this up, especially me” mentality. Lucky for me, the people at Strike and the director have the same standards.

This is a “from scratch” rewrite assignment for the most part, as was my work on A Nightmare on Elm Street. I can’t say any more on that. I have the highest respect for both Ron Moore and Wesley Strick.

What do you think, did The Thing prequel just lose the one thing it had going for it? More importantly, should Ron Moore be cast to play Kurt Russell’s brother in the film?

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  • Damndirtyape

    This movie will probably suck. Most likely we will get a hot, young teen-friendly cast complete with a few sexy chick “scientists” thrown in for good measure. Because as we all know, female scientists are always 25 and hot as hell whether they be working at a Antarctic research facility or inventing Cold Fusion.

    I WAS going to complain about the lack of need to even remake a classic film like Carpenter’s version.. but then I remembered that Hollywood has never met a remotely succcesful property it didn’t want to steal from and feed of off. Hollywood is the Nosferatu of creativity.

    Nonetheless, Moore would at least have brought something interesting to the project IMO, and now even that is gone. And who cares about a prequel? We already sort of know what happened to the Swedes.. which is very similar to what happened to the Americans.

    Why not give us a sequel that takes place AFTER the organism has spread into the world at large. Just as Alien was a haunted house in space but Aliens was a vietnam war metaphor, The sequel should not be another rehash of the tone of the first Thing movie. Take it to a new level please if you are going to the trouble of milking the damn franchise.

  • I am not too worried about the re-write, his script for the new freddy movie seems pretty solid and he’s a fan of the carpenter version, another plus.

    However, it’ll most likely suck no matter how good the script might be. I seriously doubt it won’t go the route with a craptastic teen-cast, which won’t fit at all and will ruin the whole thing. Also the fact that there is absolutely no need for a prequel makes it lame to begin with. I’m also guessing that this will be made with cg, another downer.

  • 1138

    With Moore’s idea jettisoned and the fact that they should be making a sequel not a prequel, well my interest has definitely gone way done. I love Carpenter’s Thing and always wished there had been a sequel.

    Now this project might turn into exactly what the two previous opinions have stated…a teen filled, PG-13, no brainer action packed movie. Oh well.

  • 1138

    Oh yeah I always thought Moore could be Kurt Russell’s brother.

  • Bob The Slob


    Yours Truly,
    Captain Sarcasm of the Anti-Reality Brigade

  • all you dreamers have a romantic notion that this will be a good flick,trust me on this and take my word for it,compared to carpenters it will are my reasons:no one ever rated battlestar galactica anything higher than a b series copycat.also,the formula for the sequel follows predictably the same confined space limited rescource paranoia b brand and nostrodamus predict assimilaton of carpenters best work for it to be sucessful and maintain the same fear factor.conclusion?:take that to the bank bzank.

  • Rusty James

    I could be wrong, but the impression a lot of the commenters here aren’t aware than the Carpenter version is a remake. Of a film he made a big deal about being a fan of no less.

  • CallmeIshmael

    I wonder if they decided having the Thing turn out be an angel at the end was a bad idea.

    Or maybe they didn’t like the bit where The Thing just disappears for no reason.

    Or probably they hated the part where all the survivors of decide to live in peace with cavemen and The Things.

    I can see why they ordered a rewrite.

  • Damndirtyape

    >>I could be wrong, but the impression a lot of the commenters here aren’t aware than the Carpenter version is a remake.

    Yes of course it is a remake – I think everyone on posting here knows that fact.

    The difference is that the original was a bit cheesy and hoaky when viewed by modern standards. The core story had potential though, it just needed to be re-envisioned. Carpenter did just that and “knocked it out of the park” That’s why his version is so well respected and appreciated by fans. If his version sucked as well, then I’d be all for another re-boot or prequel or sequel or whatever they are calling it.

    There is no reason to revisit the material aside from hollywood looking around to gut anything and everything they can. What exactly is there to improve on? Will a plastic looking CG creature be more scary than Bottin’s practical effects? Will a younger cast with females included make the story more compelling? Was Kurt Russel not charismatic enough? Does soem random heavy metal song during the end-credits improve upon the movie in any way?

    I’m all for remakes and rehashes of the something that could truly benefit from being updated. Carpenter’s THING is about as far from that as it gets.

  • Like most everyone else commenting here, I’m quite the fan of Carpenter’s The Thing, to the point that a few years back I traveled five hours away and spent hundreds of dollars just to catch it on the big screen. Despite that, I can’t see what all the furor is about.

    First up, it seems that they’re going with a prequel or a sequel. In this age of remakes that could almost be considered a sign of respect. I’ve seen enough remakes of my favourite films that they no longer affect my appreciation of the originals (and back then I was only a little annoyed). Sequels are even easier to ignore.

    Also, while the trend has been for these horror remakes/sequels/prequels to lose their edge by pandering with miscasting and a stab at a lowered rating, it’s all still just speculation. Until we see photos of Jessica Biel as McReady, can we just let it rest?

    Many of the fans for the original Thing From Another World were just as up in arms about Carpenter’s remake. Some still are. If they had their way we never would have even had Carpenter’s The Thing. Why shouldn’t a tale be updated for subsequent generations? I think the basic concept of The Thing is sound enough that it’s easily adaptable to just about any time or place. And I would love it if they went with the Norwegian crew. The only thing I like more than a depressing ending is an inevitable one.

    Like Rusty James, the fandom for Carpenter’s The Thing sometimes confounds me. If anything, we should be the ones most capable of understanding that it’s possible for a remake or a sequel to match or better the original. Fans of The Thing should live in eternal hope. And remember this; in four years, just as much time will have passed from Carpenter’s The Thing to the present as The Thing From Another World to Carpenter’s The Thing.

    As for this Ronald D. Moore thing that kicked this off, while I enjoyed parts of the Battlestar Galactica remake, and can see why he was chosen, the series went off the rails enough that I wasn’t really looking forward to his take on The Thing. Eric Heisserer, on the other hand, has a background in horror and has shown he can deliver the goods, so count me in.

  • tim

    I tell you how I hope they do this prequel: First they need to make sure that they watch the movie and use the information that is presented while at the Norwegian camp and work from there. I would start the film out where the Norwegians have just recovered the block of ice and are moving it to the camp. I believe this movie should be a bit shorter and a little more violent than the 1982 Thing. And it should end where the helicopter is chasing the dog. And the way the thing infects the Norwegian crew should be handled in a way that while one of the scientists is doing a study on the being he somehow slices and infects himself with the things cells as stated that it seems every cell is of its own merit. And then build the story and the violence from there. Also, I would keep the movie in Norwegian and use subtitles. The setting is there for a great movie and all that they have to do is keep it simple and to the point.

  • hi there again,this prequel nonsense is upsetting my diabetus,check the SEQUEL and check it often,my piont is that childs was assimilated at the end and macready wasnt,listen to their dialogue theyre playin chess.also childs has no breath and mac does.a sequel is the only concievable story line to follow provided kurt keith and carp can be retained,obtained,e plurubis unum,etc.,etc.anything else with substandard script writing and carpetbagger cgi fx would most likely unsucessfully panhandle a counterfeit copy in chinatown on bzink st. for 2 $.crowbuskus.

  • Matt

    The Thing is a movie that should not have a prequel or a sequel period. It is a movie that makes us want one, open-ended and everything, but the time to make one is long gone. If a new movie were to be made I agree that it must be a sequel and not a prequel. A prequel would be ridiculous and a sequel should not be made without Kurt Russell’s character. Also, The Thing is a movie about the characters and their paranoia of each other. The sequel cannot be a huge blockbuster about the Thing infecting the U.S. If it is made it has to stay in Anarctica and, even better, have only Childs and MacReady in it trying to survive the cold and each other. The first was a pschological thriller that just happened to have an alien in it. The novella it is based on is the same. Carpenter followed it more closly than the 1950’s original, for which he says he is also a big fan. The sequel should be the same. The Thing ended as it should bleak, and more than likely they both die. If anything it should be a remake, I have nothing against remakes if they are good. Remember The Thing is a remake. Also Kurt Russell could play the same character in the remake, but more than likely he wouldn’t want to. All in all there probably shoul not be a sequel, prequel, or remake, but there will be. I more than likely will watch it, but I pray to the film gods that it will not SUCK.

  • tim

    I disagree. i am a huge fan of the movie and think a prequel would be great if done staying to the base material.

  • Jake Callahan

    Thank God they got smart and dumped that hack Ron Moore.

    Do we really want to feel sorry for the Thing, or have 2 hours of dysfunctional, angsty navel staring BS wrapped up with “The Thing” label on it.

    Ron Moore is nothing but an unimaginative, Lifetime Channel level HACK.

    Let him go write soap opera scripts, and leave SciFi to the Adults

  • A.J.

    As much as I’d like to see this story progress (either a prequel or a sequel), I think it’s a bad idea. The people who are ‘green lighting” films, casting, scripts, writers and directors are the studio ‘suits’ who only want to make a buck, at the expense of a really ‘good’ story with competent people. You only have to look back to the remake of Carpenter’s “The Fog” to see how the studio set the ‘bar’ so abysmally low that the incoherent script, horrible casting, and an extremely mediocre and disappointing director failed to bring forth a believable vision that could do justice to John Carpenter’s original. That’s what I fear this “Thing” prequel film will be.