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Briefly: Earlier this week we saw the first official still shots and behind the scenes images for Universal’s prequel to The Thing. For reasons that no one really understands at this point, the studio is currently calling this prequel simply The Thing, which could create some confusion between the original film and the new picture.

I’d hoped the title might be tweaked, but io9 snapped a pic of a new banner advertising the film at the New York Comic Con, and there it is, bold as brass: The Thing. Only the tagline helps suggest that this is something other than a remake. Still, between the cast (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Eric Christian Olsen and more) and the reports of great pains being taken to retain high fidelity with respect to John Carpenter’s 1982 movie, I’m more optimistic about this one than I’d have expected. Show me a couple great-looking practical effects and I might just be sold.

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A few months back Universal invited a handful of web editors to the set of the prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing. This new film, also called The Thing for the time being, is directed by Matthis van Heijningen Jr. and stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Eric Christian Olsen. We weren’t able to make it up to Toronto for the set visit, but can now pass along the first eight shots, courtesy of Universal. Read More »

The Thing prequel

When will we be able to see The Thing prequel on the big screen? Universal Pictures announced today that the movie will hit theaters on April 29th 2011, two weeks after Wes Craven’s Scream 4, one week following Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood, and a week before Marvel’s Thor. John Carpenter’s 1982 original was released in Summer (June 25th).

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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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Update: I have been contacted by Zooey Deschanel’s publicist who claims “Zooey is not connected to the project”. You can read the original story below.

Ada Lovelace, a nineteenth-century writer and daughter of Lord Byron, was a wildly interesting woman. She worked on Charles Babbage’s early Analytical Engine, and she is considered a forerunner in the development of machines designed to do more than simple mathematical computations.

Now she may be portrayed on screen by Zooey Deschanel, in what would likely be one of the actresses’ more demanding roles. She’s in talks to play Lovelace in Enchantress of Numbers (a name bestowed upon Lovelace by Babbage)  which would shoot this fall under director Bruce Beresford. That’s the part of the equation that doesn’t thrill me — Beresford makes a lot of workable,  totally unremarkable movies. Sure, Breaker Morant is great, but that was 30 years ago. Let’s not even talk about Driving Miss Daisy, Oscar notwithstanding. [Production Weekly]

After the break, new cast for Cowboys and Aliens and the prequel to The Thing. 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 »

Joel Edgerton Comments on The Thing Prequel

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You might be irritated at the idea of a prequel to John Carpenter‘s The Thing, but I don’t see how any fan of Carpenter’s movie couldn’t be at least a little bit curious about what’s been cooked up for the film that is currently shooting in Toronto. I don’t figure this film will even vaguely stack up to Carpenter’s when it comes to effects — The Thing is just too far up the ladder of classic ‘latex and bladder’ based films — but what will the designs look like? Furthermore, will the tension be as thick, and as fun, as it was originally?

One of the primary actors in the prequel is Joel Edgerton, who also appears in Animal Kingdom and wrote and appears in The Square, directed by his brother Nash Edgerton. While promoting The Square‘s release in the US, the actor started talking about his work on the prequel, which currently seems to be going under the working title The Thing. Read More »

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Weekend Weirdness’ favorite J.C. directed a nearly three hour epic about The King starring his main man Snake Plissken, and yet the film was at risk of being forgotten by younger generations. How could this occur when the movie in question, John Carpenter‘s Elvis, is arguably a better country music biopic than Walk the Line, and exudes an unpretentious but fetching style reminiscent of Hal Ashby’s Woody Guthrie biopic Bound for Glory? Well, until this week, Elvis wasn’t available on DVD, and the film’s prior home video presence was spotty at best.

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