Variety is reporting that Universal and Blumhouse are indeed developing a reboot of the classic science fiction horror film The Thing and are getting John Carpenter involved, not unlike with their recent revivals of the Halloween franchise.
This isn’t exactly new information, however, John Carpenter’s reported involvement certainly is. What his exact role on the project will be isn’t clear but becoming an executive producer and consultant would be an excellent bet to make.
Back in January, it was announced by John Betancourt that Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions were aiming to fast-track a new version/remake of The Thing based on the lost manuscript version Frozen Hell, which is much longer and predates the original novella Who Goes There? from author John W. Campbell Jr.
“In 1938, acclaimed science fiction author John W. Campbell published the novella Who Goes There?, about a team of scientists in Antarctica who discover and are terrorized by a monstrous, shape-shifting alien entity. The story would later be adapted into John Carpenter’s iconic movie The Thing (following an earlier film adaptation in 1951). The published novella was actually an abridged version of Campbell’s original story, called Frozen Hell, which had to be shortened for publication. The Frozen Hell manuscript remained unknown and unpublished for decades, and it was only recently rediscovered.”
The novella was adapted into two films with John’s 1982 film The Thing and 1951’s The Thing From Another World, there was also a disastrous prequel to 1982 film released in 2011 which was a commercial flop for Universal and famously ruined practical effects by painting CGI all over it.
Variety also points out that Carpenter revealed talks with Blumhouse and their plan to reboot The Thing has taken place during a Q&A at the Fantasia International Film Festival.
CARPENTER: “I have? I don’t know about that, but we’ve talked about — I think he’s going to be working on The Thing, rebooting ‘The Thing.’ I’m involved with that, maybe. Down the road.”
It was suggested back in January it was being fast-tracked but a screenwriter isn’t being named in this new report.
The Carpenter film is considered the apex of practical special effects.
THE THING – In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog. When they take in the dog, it brutally attacks both human beings and canines in the camp and they discover that the beast can assume the shape of its victims. A resourceful helicopter pilot (Kurt Russell) and the camp doctor (Richard Dysart) lead the camp crew in a desperate, gory battle against the vicious creature before it picks them all off, one by one.