Back in 2008, commercial filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. signed on to make his feature directing debut on the Zack Snyder-developed Army of the Dead, a follow-up to Snyder’s 2004 zombie pic Dawn of the Dead. When the project stalled, van Heijningen went on to helm Universal’s The Thing instead, but continued to harbor hopes that Army of the Dead would take off eventually; as recently as this past fall, van Heijningen was telling outlets that Army of the Dead had could still be revived at Warner Bros.

However, the months since then have apparently worn away at van Heijningen’s optimism, because he’s now saying that the project is unlikely to happen. Read his comments after the jump.

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Several years ago, when Zack Snyder was still making Watchmen, the director started talking about a zombie movie that he had been developing. The project was called Army of the Dead; it was written by Joby Harold and quickly attached director Matthijs van Heijningen. But the project stalled, and some time later van Heijningen went on to make The Thing for Universal.

But Army of the Dead may not yet be buried; seemingly it has a chance of going forward again at Warner Bros. That’s according to van Heijningen, who also says the film would have some pretty extreme zombie behavior. And by that, I mean zombie rape. Nasty. Read on for the details. Read More »

‘The Thing’ Red Band Trailer

If for some crazy reason you’ve never seen John Carpenter’s The Thing and are waiting to watch it after you see Matthijs van Heijningen‘s direct prequel, also called The Thing, you may want to avoid this new, spoiler-filled red-band trailer. If, however, you are among the many who adore the 1982 film starring Kurt Russell, feel free to dive right in. This short, sweet and super violent red-band trailer gives our best glimpse yet of the alien Thing itself and also shows off some of the ways it brutally murders a bunch of Antarctic scientists before embedding itself in their bodies.

The Thing, which stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton, opens October 14. Check out the new trailer after the jump. Read More »

Update: While we were unable to confirm or debunk these ourselves, but Shock Till You Drop reports that “a sculptor on the show says [the photos] are not legit.”  Original story and photos follow below.

As with any monster movie, one of the big questions surrounding The Thing, Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.‘s prequel to John Carpenter‘s 1982 movie of the same title, is what the creature will actually look like. Sure, we know what it used to look like, in the 1982 film, but there’ve been nearly three decades of special effects technology advancement and changing public tastes since then — will van Heijningen’s live up to Carpenter’s original vision?

While we don’t have photos of the finished product, we do have a look at some of the maquettes used for the film that give a pretty good impression of what the filmmakers were going for. If the end result succeeds in making these visions come to life, we’re in for some wonderfully repulsive creature work. Check out the images after the jump.

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‘The Thing’ Will Release on October 14, 2011

Good news: after some concern over the fate of Universal’s prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing, we’ve now got an October 14, 2011 release date for the film. The Thing (yep, still a confusing title for a prequel to a film called The Thing) was scheduled for April, but had that date scrapped not long ago. The film had reportedly gone in for reshoots — not always a bad thing, as Edgar Wright will tell you, and as Germain pointed out — and we didn’t know when the picture would drop.

But a mid-October date will do nicely for a sci-fi horror prequel to a fan favorite sci-fi horror film, especially since the competition is the Footloose remake and Paul WS Anderson’s The Three Musketeers. Read More »

Over the weekend, news broke that Universal moved their prequel of John Carpenter’s The Thing, also called The Thing, into release date limbo. Official word from the studio was the film was “not yet ready” and fanboy worry and speculation began. Does the film suck? Do the effects looks stupid? Performances stink? All of the above? The answer, in fact, is none of the above. Producer Marc Abraham clarified to Hitfix that while they already have a cut of the film, the release date shift has allowed them to schedule additional photography that will “enhance existing sequences,” “make crystal clear a few story beats” and “add punctuation marks to the film’s feeling of dread.”

So while we are going to have to wait a little longer to see director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s version of The Thing, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton, the film we do eventually see will be better for it. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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Buried director Rodrigo Cortés will next direct Sigourney Weaver in Red Lights, in which she’ll play Margaret Matheson, “a para-psychologist who attempts to debunk a very reputable psychic who has just returned to the limelight after 30 years.” What are the chances her character is named after author Richard Matheson? Pretty good. Cortés told Bloody Disgusting the film is “”about how the brain does not give a true picture of reality.”

After the break, new talent for The Thing and The Help (can we combine those into one film, The Helpful Thing?) and two roles for True Blood‘s Grant Bowler. Read More »

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Briefly: Just the other day I ran some info about the prequel to The Thing, which stars Joel Edgerton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and is being directed by Matthijs van Heijningen. The film is shooting exteriors now in Toronto, and we’ve just been sent an image of the set for the Norwegian research camp where the action takes place.

On one hand, this isn’t a terribly exciting image. But for fans of Carpenter’s film, this certainly looks right. Snow. Barrels. Buildings. Yep, it’s all there. Wait…there’s no blood. Or dogs. They’ll come, I’m sure. I don’t currently have access to the DVD, or I’d screencap the original to do a little comparison. (If anyone wants to pull that screencap, please send it along.)

Not a lot of other info to share right now, but reportedly quite a few practical creature effects are being developed. There will be CGI, too, but I’m happy to hear that won’t be the only technique used to create the alien. The cast is great and the set looks good, so let’s go with optimism for now. Thanks to J&B for the image, which you can click to enlarge slightly.

EDIT: Hit the jump for screencaps of the location as seen in John Carpenter’s film. Thanks to Dionisis for the caps! Read More »

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