John Carpenter’s The Thing may well be one of the greatest horror movies of all time – dark, intensely atmospheric, wildly imaginative and grimly surreal. Even though it is itself a remake – of Christian Nyby’s The Thing From Another World – we’ve thrust our fingers in our ears and gone ‘la-la-la’ whenever anyone has suggested a remake or reimagining.

But today, Universal officially announced plans for a prequel which will detail how the shape-shifting alien was uncovered by “those crazy Swedes” (in reality, a Norwegian research team) and went on to wreak bloody havoc – and I have to say, I’m a little intrigued. Just a little, mind.

Mainly because the movie will be written by Ronald D. Moore, the big brain behind the wonderful revitalisation of Battlestar Galactica. If he can do for Carpenter’s shape-shifting alien what he did for those frakkin’ Cylons, then this could be worth watching. But that’s a big ‘if’.

And I have to say, I’m a little concerned by the hiring of Matthijs Van Heijningen to direct. Van Heijningen has been attached to direct Zack Snyder’s Army Of The Dead, true, but he’s a commercials director by trade, and I’m instantly sceptical that he has the tools and the talent to match up to Carpenter at his finest.

You have to wonder, though, at the audience for this movie. The long-rumoured sequel (Frank Darabont came close to making one for the Sci-Fi Channel), which might have brought back Kurt Russell as the gruff MacReady, last seen about to freeze to death? Sure, that has an in-built must-watch factor. But even though I’ve often wondered how exactly the Norwegian scientists fell apart and how that two-headed monster came to be, I’m not exactly sure if it will sustain an entire movie, given that it can only really be a retread of the events of The Thing.

Still, benefit of the doubt and all that…thoughts, as ever, below… 

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