Joel Edgerton Comments On The Thing Prequel

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.

STYD talked to Edgerton and got a few details about the film. Most just confirm what we've known or put together (based on info like the casting breakdowns that came out a while ago) but some of that confirmation is good to see. The actor says,

Well, it's a prequel and definitely the Norwegian base is modeled on the base you see in the Carpenter film. Being a prequel you'll see a lot of tie-ins as to how the base comes to be the way it is in the Carpenter film, being so destroyed, and that evidence you see in the Carpenter film, We'll get a glimpse into that.

Further comments suggest that this isn't being crafted as too close a prequel to Carpenter's movie. This won't be, let's say, the Fire Walk With Me to The Thing's Twin Peaks. But that's the potentially good thing about a film that follows a shape-shifting alien — it's all too easy to craft a series of standalone stories. Edgerton says,

...this film will stand up as a story. For anyone who has not seen the original, it will just be a self-contained film, but it also has a lot of curious links and snaps of the old movie for the people who are fans or are familiar with the Carpenter movie.

Additionally, Collider got some quotes out of Edgerton. He says that director Matthijs van Heijningen is,

a massive fan of the original and he loves "Alien" and "The Thing." They're his two favorite horror movies. He's not trying to reinvent the film. He's certainly not trying to eclipse the film. He's certainly not trying to remake the film. But, what he's trying to do is tell the story "pre" that film.

...What Universal and Matthijs are trying to do is make a partner piece to "The Thing" while also reinventing the aspect of — modern filmmaking has come a long way — so I guess they're paying respect to the original while bringing a new time and different [approach] without throwing away what they did in the past.