Screenwriter reveals The Thing prequel
It was Ronald D. Moore who started the prequel for The Thing, but now Eric Heisserer has the job in hand and is rewriting Moore's script for the rather contentious film idea, that of going back before John Carpenter's superb film The Thing and finding out how the creature was discovered and what happened to those damned Norwegians.
So Heisserer has decided to speak about the script and let us have a few details, and while they are interesting, I still can't help but think we're in for a film that we already know the ending to and therefore it's far from exciting.
The first surprise was that there was even a prequel to The Thing happening because everyone who has seen The Thing, and let me tell you that you really should, we already know what happened to them, and this is not a spoiler.
All the Norwegians are killed. That's where the film starts, we see the last two chasing down a dog from their helicopter. They crash, one survives, and is shot before he can kill the dog. The mystery begins.
It's not just those events it's also the fact that the American base crew visit the Norwegian camp and see quite a lot of detail of events that happened, including filmed footage and plenty of evidence.
The second surprise was that the Ronald D. Moore script was taken off him and given to another scriptwriter.
Eric Heisserer is the other writer, and now he's hard at work trying to bring the story to life. However while we struggle with the idea of how they could actually do it, he's involved in actually doing it.
“It’s a really fascinating way to construct a story because were doing it by autopsy, by examining very, very closely everything we know about the Norwegian camp and about the events that happened there from photos and video footage that’s recovered...from a visit to the base, the director, producer and I have gone through it countless times marking, you know, there’s a fire axe in the door, we have to account for that…were having to reverse engineer it, so those details all matter to us ‘cause it all has to make sense.”
“We explain how it got there...We’re finding so much from Carpenter’s movie that you think you’ve seen, but in actually it allows us to come up with certain twists on what we have that will allow people to be on the edge of their seat, and not know who’s going to make it and who’s not.”
Now others are commenting that this severely restricts the ability of the film to provide anything exciting, after all they have to work with all these set moments that are already in place, how can they deliver anything suspenseful, especially when we know the ending?
Well I argue that, and this is especially true for Moore's version, they're going to layer in the surprises throughout. I think the reverse will be true, while we think that they can't move the story around we'll see mutli-layered stories appear.
Like they are doing with Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, I think we might see events happen alongside those we already know and have seen, and reveal something more that we hadn't bargained on, perhaps even reveal the truth about the ending of John Carpenter's The Thing, after all maybe all of the Norwegian camp weren't killed at the start of the film.