back to article Universal thaws out The Thing

Variety has confirmed chilling rumours that Universal was planning to remake The Thing - a project described as a "re-imagining" of the classic which first hit the big screen in 1951 and resurfaced in John Carpenter's excellent 1982 adaptation. The rehash is, as were the first two outings for The Thing, based "heavily" on the …

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  1. Rebecca Putman
    Coat

    Next "Big Thing" in the movies:

    Reality movies.

    Gah. Oh, and Feh.

    Mine's the one with the Netflix subscription in the pocket.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So, lemme get this straight...

    You're complaining that it's being remade because remakes are inevitably shite and because the last remake was good...?

  3. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

    John Carpenter did such a good job

    on the 'original remake'. Why do we need another. IIRC the effects in that film were pretty damn good, particularly for the time.

  4. Michael Prior-Jones
    IT Angle

    A great tradition

    It'd better be a good remake. The 1982 version is required Midwinter's day viewing for all staff working on British bases in the Antarctic. Scary! And, of course, all bases are equipped the flamethrowers as standard, just in case...

  5. Richard

    If...

    If that kid from the new Indiana Jones is involved in any way, I'm going to kill myself.

    Others may die also.

  6. tardigrade

    "Why don't we just wait here for a little while... see what happens... "

    The original black and white film was so damnably good it's difficult to see how anything could be better, but then the John Carpenter remake was just as fantastic. So lets see what happens. Ron Moore is a good choice at least.

    If they cock it up though I'll be as pissed as Dr.Blair in the radio room.

  7. Bad Beaver
    Alien

    Ah, well...

    As long as they keep Michael Bay away from it, it could be interesting. It is an interesting plot, after all. Although — I don't quite see how you would "better" the Carpenter version. Replace the creature effects with less convincing CG? It did not work for any of the more recent Alien / AvP movies, in fact it made them less intense. I also doubt you could cast a more convincing set of actors.

  8. Craig
    Stop

    Jeeesus

    /Facepalm

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    it's a bad idea.. no worse than doing it as TV mini series

    which was supposed to happen a couple of years back which mercifully failed..

    I'd heard they were going to do it as a Prequel set in the Norwegians camp and be about the ship etc they discovered.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The finest ever to grace the big screen

    "I dunno what the hell's in there, but it's weird and pissed off, whatever it is."

    Unbeatable.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    The Day the Earth Stood Still

    Watched the remake only the other night.... Terrible.

    Perhaps best left alone.

  12. Peter
    Stop

    Down with this sort of thing.

    FFS, stop remaking John Carpenter films and just give the man more money to make something new.

  13. Martin Lyne

    How many

    How many decent sci-fi novels are out there waiting to be made fantastic films.. but no. Let's remake.

    Takeshi Kovacs, where are you?!

  14. Simon
    Alert

    The Thing /could/ be OK, but...

    Ms Putman, could I have your missile address please, your post has broken my brain.

    (Or in other words - _don't_ give them ideas like that!... *whimper*)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Genre shift

    Well, we've had several years of "super hero" films, followed by several years of "global disaster" films. What's next on the list? Horror films have always been in fashion, so let's try that! Maybe after that we'll move on to ...errr ....romantic comedys? Or what about a good old-fashioned "shooting each other to bits with guns" film? (ever seen "We were soldiers"? Jesus!!); they're always good for revenue.

    Originality (and historical accuracy, while we're at it) has never been Hollywood's strong point.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    The fatal mistake....

    ...being to actually pay to watch the damn thing in the first place. I'm not hugely interested in this, and have already bought a copy of Carpenter's Thing on DVD, so I'll just watch that instead.

    This does raise the ever-present question of why people who don't like remakes pay to see the damn things in the first place....

  17. Chris
    Heart

    Never seen the originals

    I have no dount that any modern re-imaginging will be dire toss but seeing the praise that's being lavished upon the John Carpenter remake I'm quite tempted to pop along to Amazon and pick up a copy.

  18. EvilGav

    John Carpenters The Thing

    Was more of a continuation than a remake of the original 1951 version, hence no digging of ships from ice and so on and visiting the Norwegian base, which links it back to the short-story and so on.

    Re-making it (which is what Hollywood seem to be doing) is just a terrible idea, the last decent re-make/re-imagining was probably Cronenberg's The Fly.

  19. Glyn
    IT Angle

    @Bad Beaver

    You had to go and say his name didn't you! Now he'll be top of the list. The sooner the people in charge of making films realise that the Bay Film Butcher shouldn't be allowed to sell popcorn at a cinema, let alone have anything to do with what's on the screen..

    www.lilformers.com has a few things to say about him based on the transformers movie

    The IT angle in this article, the classic fight between computer and glass of whiskey...phizt

    If only Dave had thought to carry a hip flask in 2001, then there would have been much less hassle

  20. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Up

    Should do a great job

    "previous credits include commercials for Bud Light, Heineken, Pepsi, Toyota and Visa"

    He'll fit right into Hollywood then.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    "I know I'm human..."

    A great film - just happened to have bought the 1982 version on Blu-ray. Full of desperation and paranoia. If any future remake is as bad as the remake of The Haunting (1956) then forget it.

    With reference to CGI in the remake of The Haunting the poster said "The special effects will leave you terrified!!", err it's special effects - hardly terrifying. Scare me psychologically.

    Alien icon obviously.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Re: Takeshi Kovacs

    Altered Carbon could make one hell of a movie - stop remaking movies and TV shows, pull Ridley Scott off the A team and give him a budget.

    Pull on the new flesh / like borrowed gloves / and burn your fingers once again.

  23. Goatan
    Thumb Down

    Second worst Idea EVER!

    Could only be made worse by haveing Ewe Bol direct it and Shia LeBeouf (indiana jones and transformers star) in it.

    There is no way you can improve upon the most perfect survival horror movie of all time. Even if ILM do the CG it'll look really shitty compared to the insane animatronics Carpenter used. The end is even ambiguous enough that its still discussed today.

    Remake something rubbish like anything Shia LeBeouf has stared in. Make it better, by getting someone else to play his role. I'd actually find a fog horn going off instead of his inane winging a massive improvement.

    Also got to agree:

    The day the Earth stood still, worst remake to date, I've even watched a Ewe Bol movie and that was more entertaining.

  24. Matt
    Thumb Up

    re Martin Lyne

    Spot on there Martin. Altered Carbon and subsequent sequels could go some way to making an awesome series of movies.

  25. Paul Naylor

    Re: how many

    Good point Martin. I'd love to see some of the Asimov books done properly, instead of the shower of excrement that was I, Robot. But I don't think hoi poloi would 'get' Asimov's subtlety.

    And is the Rama series ever going to make it to the big screen? I'd heard that Rendezvous With Rama was in the works but the rumour seems to have died a death...

    As for a remake of The Thing, I think it's a case of 'don't mess with the classics'. The John Carpenter version scared the crap out of me when I was a kid and is still shocking to me as an adult. It's the dogs at the beginning. Where aliendog is put into the compound and just stares ahead and the other dogdogs look a bit nervous. Scary.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ How many

    Takeshi Kovacs - absolutely! they *could* be some truly awesome films

    as for the remake - meh.

  27. jai

    @Martin Lyne

    Amen to that. the rights for the Kovacs movies are sitting in the grubby hands of some damn holywood producer and will be years (if ever) before it appears on screen, and yet they're willing to remake classics that they have no chance of improving upon

  28. Yorkshirepudding
    Stop

    christ on a honda

    no no no EPIC FAIL! if carpenter would dead he'd be spinnin in his grave like a top

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: Down with this sort of thing.

    "FFS, stop remaking John Carpenter films and just give the man more money to make something new."

    Something on par with "Ghosts of Mars"? Shudder. JC was the man in the 80s, but hasn't produced anything of any merit since.

  30. Eric Crippen

    ...and the point is???

    Most stories are re-hashes of something else. Even if this re-make is a close retelling, it doesn't mean that it's going to be garbage. I happen to like how the new BSG series went, so the same could happen with this. It may have a different take on the concept much like Carpenter's version had a different take. Same basic plot, humans find dangerous frozen E.T., but with different motivations, script, acting... and it turned out fine. And yes... the remake of 'The day the earth stood still' sucked. I put that up to poorly written, badly cast and mis-appropriated special effects money.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ AC 10:36

    wait, you're honestly trying to say that Carpenter's version isn't superior in every way to the original? You prefer the "intellectual carrot" to that dude's head getting ripped off, growing legs and scuttling under the table?

    About the only thing that was better in the original is the closing line: "Keep looking. Keep watching the skies!"

  32. Leigh Smith
    Stop

    I'm siding with the AC on this

    "You're complaining that it's being remade because remakes are inevitably shite and because the last remake was good...?"

    Kinda hypocritical don't ya think?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Echoing Martin Lyne

    The Saga of the 7 Suns (Anderson).

    Star Wars-esque real contender, from which at least a trilogy could be made, if not more. Plot, characters, scale, all there ready to be movie-scripted/formatted. And only one example of so much more fresh IP ripe for the taking.

    You've just got to wonder :rolleyes:

  34. Simon Neill

    Remakes

    Lets not forget that remakes also suck because 95% of the budget goes to paying someone like keanu reeves to play lead.

    How to make a good film

    1) Scrap all old material, come up with something new.

    2) Hire whomever is cheapest, we really don't care so long as they are good.

  35. Dave
    Unhappy

    Feckless hollywood

    When will they learn. Are these not basically the same fuckwits that re-made War of the Worlds who not only changed the story for the worse but cast that little gobshite cruise as the main character.

    Jeez!

    It's nearly a step too far but if they try to remake Blade Runner I will burn hollywood down myself.

  36. Tom

    They shouldn't do a remake.

    A sequel might be worth considering. The short story leaves open the question of whether or not they finally managed to kill the alien, as does the John Carpenter remake. The 1954 classic is the only one that doesn't leave the question open. All it takes is a single cell brought back to a research facility not far from a major metropolitan area...

  37. Smallbrainfield
    Unhappy

    You've got to give it to Ron Moore

    The guy must have some big cohones taking on a remake of The Thing. The John Carpenter version is one of the best horror films ever. Ever.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re-imagine

    I think I expressed my opinion on that particular piece of bull---- before. Was it the BBC talking about re-imagining something, merlin maybe? Blake 7... whatever it may be - jesus.

    You'd have thought nobody had written a new story since the 60s with all the shit remakes going on, and holywood wonders why it's going down the pan, hell nowdays people would be better off reading a dictionary then trying to find something interesting or intelligent out of the sewage works they call holywoods major studios.

    Jesus. I think Pans Labrynth may be the last really good film I saw, the Orient has a few good interesting films a while back, but the English speaking world is trapped in remake and romcom hell.

  39. Doug Glass
    Paris Hilton

    When you run out of creative talent ...

    ... copy something. I wonder is Microsoft backing this.

    Paris because it's unlike she'll ever be cloned.

  40. Joe M

    What's everyone frothing about?

    It's all on the cards. After all, this is the same crowd (should I perhaps say herd) which "remade" The Flintstones as a movie. Only they used live actors?!!!

  41. Charles Tsang

    @Tom re: Remake - Been Done

    "A sequel might be worth considering. The short story leaves open the question of whether or not they finally managed to kill the alien, as does the John Carpenter remake. The 1954 classic is the only one that doesn't leave the question open. All it takes is a single cell brought back to a research facility not far from a major metropolitan area..."

    Heh, funnily enough, a remake was done albeit under the auspices of a video game. The Thing for the PS2 put you in command of a military unit that begins with the Norwegian camp and then comes to the American camp.

    It maintained the paranoid atmosphere of the original by allowing your colleagues to become infected. Also your colleagues had a healthy paranoia themselves once the shit hit the fan and they realised what they were getting into. That included lack of trust in you, which you could win back by giving them items.

    Link here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_(video_game)

  42. Steve Swann
    Joke

    oooh!

    How about we let Bollywood remake The Thing! Surely that'd be excellent!

    ...mines the colourful one thats slowly peeling itself away to reveal a skinned dog....

  43. Alistair
    Thumb Down

    Dark Star

    Yes and they're going to remake Dark Star with Ben Afflick as Doolittle and Matt Damon as Pinback :(

  44. Tanuki
    Thumb Down

    There can be only one 'Jed'.

    There can be only one 'Jed', the Magnificent Malamute who played the parasitized sled-dog in Carpenter's version.

    Trying to replace him is like trying to replace Bogey in 'Casablanca'..

    [What's that whirring? Aaah! It's the CGI-hordes at Pixar revving up their animation-engines. It'll never work. Die, you bastards! DIE!]

    Coat? Mine's the one with the dog-lead in the pocket.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Martin Lyne

    Kovacs just rocks and would make an ideal SF movie, some RM's other works would also be good (Black Man rather than Market Forces tho).

    I am actually struggling to remember a decent remake :o

  46. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: There can be only one 'Jed'.

    Pretty much the best performance by a dog on film ever. (He was part wolf which made him a teensy bit scarier.)

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was I the only one to think...

    fronm the title That this was going to be a lame Fantastic 4 spin- off? ;-)

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To summarize the posts:

    -Anything old is good

    -Anything new is shit

    -The more things you hate, the cooler you are

    -We hate all new things

    -We are cool

    Anything I missed?

  49. krakead
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Takeshi Kovacs

    Joel Silver optioned Altered Carbon for a reputed seven figure sum. My guess is that it's still in pre-production hell while they figure out how to make a film where the hero swaps bodies multiple times without confusing the hell out of the rednecks ;-)

    Paris, because she's not had experience with multiple bodies, or so she says...

  50. Steen Hive
    Coat

    @Dark Star

    Suggest a remake of Dark Star? You are one vile depraved individual.

    The institution that is Dark Star proves beyond doubt that budget & technology merely provide us with the tools of our own downfall..

  51. Daniel B.
    Unhappy

    Remakes aren't always that bad.

    The most ironic thing on this article is that it is slamming the mere idea of a remake/reimagining, while at the same time admitting that the 1982 remake is a classic. Of course, remakes have earned a bad reputation, but it has to do more with idiots leading the remake efforts. Even good directors screw up every now and then, see Tin Burton's "Planet of the Apes".

    I find it funny that the War of the Worlds remake was bashed everywhere, mostly because of Tom Cruise... while my real annoyance at that remake would be the idiot kids (especially the Dakota Fanning character!) turning the "lone character" into a fleeing family. Other than that, at least this one tried to be truer to the book. Maybe if Spielberg hadn't rammed in "teh family" it might've fared better...

  52. tuna
    Jobs Horns

    @AC: Was I the only one to think...

    Tsk, tsk Mr. AC.

    Any proper geek knows Thing is just "Thing", while <i>The</i> Thing is the Carpenter masterpiece.

    I'm afraid we're going to have to ask you for your Geek Badge and keyboard pending an investigation.

    iTHING: The Infection Spreads

  53. Mike
    Thumb Up

    I have to admit

    I might be interested in seeing a movie that picks up where the 1982 classic ends. Surely someone in the outside world would notice that there is no longer any communication with two different bases and then send someone to investigate only to find...what?

  54. Stuart Duel
    Alien

    Cruise ver. of WotW closer to da book?

    How exactly? The book wasn't set in America, nor did it follow the misadventures of an annoying family and to top it all off, the book was set in post industrial revolution England.

    If I had been the lead in that terrible, terrible Speilberg remake I would have killed the squealing bitch myself and told the mother the Martians did it.

    Give War of the Worlds another go but actually set it in the time and place it is meant to be set. The musical version, artwork and all, would be a great place to start for inspiration. The machines and musical score were both very creepy, dark and ominous. But give the job to Peter Jackson of LotR fame. I have no doubt he's a fan, and would produce something to really knock your socks off!

    As to a remake of The Thing, I'd be very surprised if someone could beat John Carpenter's fantastic effort in any way. But we'll see.

  55. Bananimal

    Remake...

    ...Dune.

    Don't laugh, I'm serious. We either get the best science fiction film ever made or it will bankrupt the studio that makes it.

    Its win win for us.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hmmm.

    No reason why this wouldn't be good, but no reason why it wouldn't be any better either. What's the damn point? Ron Moore has made some good TV (TNG, DS9, BSG) and his interpretation of this movie might be cool, but I'm sure there's something better he could be doing.

  57. Bounty

    We all know what's next

    Where's Aliens v.s. Predator v.s. The Thing?

  58. steven kraft Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Boooooooooooo!!!!!!

    And I don't mean "boo!" as in scary, I mean boooooooooooo!!! as in "it will probably suck".

    So I guess this means that we are about due for a remake of Blade Runner and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan?

  59. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah

    Well, modern Hollywood remakes aren't always bad. It's not like they go for flashy CGI FX over the tense interpersonal drama every time.

    *Thinks about the remake of Flight of the Phoenix*

    Well not _every_ time.

    *Thinks about remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still*

    Well, not always.

    *Thinks about t he remake of War of the Worlds*

    At least it'll make a change to have a movie that doesn't end with the good guys having to win.

    *Thinks about the remake of Ocean's Eleven*

    Argh.

  60. E Haines

    Why another remake will fail

    There was a decent reason to remake The Thing the first time (and as EvilGav points out, it works as much as a sequel as a remake): honestly, the original wasn't really very good. The remake, however, can't really be improved on in any significant way. Therefore another remake is 100% guaranteed pure fail.

  61. Fozzy
    Pirate

    Fuck it

    Let Hollywood go all out and have an all in space war

    Alien

    predator

    the thing

    hell throw in the borg, the bugs from starship troopers

    and an asteriod hurtling towards earth.

    Get bruce, ben and a space shuttle that defies all the laws of physics back to save the day

    Only problem with this is that a screenwriter is probably reading this through the smoky haze of his crack pipe and thinks this is a winning storyline to pitch to the studios

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ EvilGav

    The Fly was great

  63. snafu

    There can be only one

    Get Bruce Campbell!

  64. Tom

    I can't believe so many posters here couldn't tell from the trailers

    that all of the following remakes were going to be such crap you shouldn't pay to see them:

    The Day the Earth Stood Still (Green weenies all over the place)

    The War of the Worlds (Tom Cruise? Give me a break. The only thing he ever had going for him was a lot of women like to look at his ass. When it comes to acting, he's even worse that what's her name who did the second Savik part in the Trek Movies.)

    The Dukes of Hazard (Bo, Luke, and Uncle Jesse weren't scruffy)

    I Robot (The machines were neither evil nor benevolent, therefore Hollywood can't handle it)

    I didn't pay to see any of these, and frankly, I don't even plan to waste time watching them if they come on the tv. Crap, complete crap. Crap so bad you don't have to watch it to know its crap.

  65. Alex
    Flame

    Time to send them an email m'thinks!

    http://www.universalstudios.com/contact_us_links.php

    I'm SICK of remakes done badly, if it's 50 years old, then maybe. But not when the JC's remake is still lovingly cherished. I know.. let's remake Titanic in to a BETTER film instead : "oh no, it's far too soon..." Shut up Uni Exec!!

    FFS. Hate H a t e H A T E!!!

    GRRRR!!!!

  66. Andy Dent
    Stop

    How about a decent Starship Troopers?

    c'mon, someone, please before I die make a movie that R.A.H wouldn't have sneered at.

    Failing which, John Ringo's "A Hymn Before Battle" would be a very nice substitute to avoid treading on IP which is sadly still locked up.

  67. Ned Fowden

    @Tom

    ANYONE who has not seen the movie, remake or not, has no opinion on the quality of the movie.

    Before you start slating it just because it's a remake or who is in it or who directs it or one of th emany other myriad reasons you have for being a whiny wingebag WATCH THE MOVIE FIRST.

    when it comes to movies, they are here to entertain (generally) you need to suspend your prejudices and enjoy the film for what it is.

    personally, i happened to find TDTESS a decent film, certainly not one of the worst i've ever seen ... not great, but not bad ... it did it's job, it entertained. yes, i preferred the original, but that does not automatically make this a bad film.

    anyway, enough of that ... time for someone to make a film from a Dan Simmons novel !

  68. Aaron

    God almighty

    Well, they can't do any worse than Kurt Russell, I guess.

    Oh, who am I kidding? Tom Cruise as R. J. McReady!

    Mine's the one with the revolver in the pocket -- don't worry, it's only got one round in it. Oh, and don't mind it if you hear a loud bang from the street outside in the next minute or two, it'll just be me going.

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