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John Carpenter: Nobody would hire me after 'The Thing' debacle
Starring Kurt Russell, the horror film shocked audiences with repulsive special effects used for the titular, shape-shifting monster and opened to negative reviews.
Continued at Times of India.
THE THING prequel begins shooting in March of this year up near Toronto, Canada, Anthropogenic Global Warming, permitting! (LOL! But seriously!)
What gives studios fan approved license to keep churning out Horror Thriller remakes? Even the bad ones usually make money.
Despite fan written and vocal disapproval toward a studio, we vote with our money, gang, not what we write on a freaking message board (get that through your thick skulls, now please! I'll wait. Okay). And the reason for shooting a prequel to John Carpenter's THE THING from wa-ay back in 1982, is the unexpected success of it in the home video market.
1982 and John Carpenter's THE THING was an unmitigated flop in its theatrical release. That time is historically known as the summer of Stephen Spielberg's One-Two Punch, POLTERGIEST (released June 4, 1982 by MGM) and E.T. (released June 11, 1982 by Universal). But despite Universal Pictures poorly advertised, marketed, and timed the release of it, J.C.'s THE THING found legs on the burgeoning home video market (which didn't get on its feet until 1984) and has never been out of retail circulation since.* THE THING has gone on to have a successful comic book series at Dark Horse (before Dark Horse butchered it with a mini-series that turned THE THING into space vampires! E-freaking-GAD!), toys and a popular video game that still sells at full retail price five years after release.
In the book, John Carpenter, The Prince of Darkness, John tells how the first Dark Horse mini-series convinced him that he wanted to do sequels. However, by the late 1990s while Carpenter was considering it, his star Kurt Russell was too old to reprise his role. Carpenter realized that the only way he could do it was by remaking THE THING. And if he was going to do that, he might as well start with the first story. Back in the 1980s, Carpenter decided to make his movie a sequel to the original story, Who Goes There, by John W. Campbell. Screenwriter, Bill Lancaster's script is the aftermath for Campbell's Norwegians that begin the Carpenter's movie. Now Carpenter wants to start with the original short story, go through Lancaster's version, and on to the first Dark Horse mini-series.
I own that first four issue mini-series and I can tell you that it is excellent!
Of course, by the late 1990s there were several other factors in play. Nobody knew if there was still enough audience appeal to risk the millions on a prequel. Or if the fans would be willing to accept someone other than the original stars. Did the fans even care after Dark Horse slaughtered the franchise with their final mini-series? And finally was the issue of John Carpenter himself.
John's last theatrical hit was in 1988 with THEY LIVE. Everything else, IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED, THE GHOSTS OF MARS, regardless of whether you personally like them or not, they weren't just flops, but HUGE flops. And none of them have done well in the home video market, which is historically Carpenter's ace (remember again gang, you can talk all you want on message boards, but we vote with our money!).
When THE THING got a re-release on DVD in 1998, part of that question was answered. The DVD sold remarkably well. So much that Universal decided to spend a ton of money on making THE THING video game. The Playstation 2 game was released in 2002 and was also a hit. And as with Carpenter's movie, it had legs! It still sells, 8 years later, for around $30 retail.
Work began on the script. Now that work is complete, pre-production is nearly over, and production begins in March of this year near Toronto.
Now there is a lot of chatter on the Internet, the usual booing and hissing over remakes. Some of the folks behind this chatter forget that John Carpenter's THE THING was a remake of Director Christian Nyby and Howard Hawk's THE THING From Another World (that's not precisely how Carpenter looks at it, but that's how he sold it to Universal). Carpenter also wanted to be a part of the new THE THING, but so far the studio is cagey on what role if any he is playing behind the scenes. What rumor I've got so far is that he's there in a Producer capacity.
This page will keep you informed over the coming months until the release of the new THE THING.
August 22, 2011
Interview: Kim Bubbs Talks The Thing
Continued at Shockya.
August 15, 2011
'The Thing' Trailer and Poster
The movie tells the tale of an ill-fated Norwegian research camp that dug up a shapeshifting alien something in the permafrost of Antarctica, as seen in the early scenes of John Carpenter's movie.
Continued at Slash Film.
October 28, 2010
All the John Carpenter Easter Eggs in The Thing's prequel
Continued at io9.
October 25, 2010
'The Thing' Stars Joel Edgerton And Eric Christian Olsen Say Prequel Won't Be 'Spring Break Version'
Continued at MTV.
October 20, 2010
New York Comic Con: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Talks 'The Thing' and 'Lost'
Continued at FilmSchoolRejects.
January 4, 2010
Universal making prequel to John Carpenter's 'The Thing'
Continued at Examiner.
‘The Thing’ Prequel Gets A Shooting Start Date
Continued at ScreenRant.
The Thing's Prequel Lurches Towards Production
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