Latest unnecessary remake: The Thing

From Variety:

Strike Entertainment and Universal Pictures will remake John Carpenter’s frightener “The Thing.”

Script will be written by “Battlestar Galactica” exec producer Ronald D. Moore. The 1982 original dealt with a shape-shifting creature from outer space that terrorizes researchers at an Antarctic facility.

I recently finished watching the first season of Battlestar Galactica, and while I’ve aired my admittedly unfair grievances about the show before, I recognize it’s a great series and I’ll give Moore the benefit of the doubt on this arguably unnecessary remake of a remake.

  1. Kate left a comment on November 20, 2006 at 9:06 am

    If anyone can make a go of this, Ronnie can–but still, the unnecessariness of the whole thing blows my mind. I mean, ‘The Fog’ would have benefitted from a (decent) remake, but if we must be remaking old John Carpenter movies, why ‘The Thing’? The original KICKS SO MUCH ASS, in a disembodied head with spider legs kind of way!

  2. John left a comment on November 20, 2006 at 9:12 am

    Actually, the 50’s The Thing is an excellent film with minimum special effects or make up. I think Carpenter’s, while good, is still less than tat.

    Perhaps every interation is worse than its predecessor. I just hope the “thing” of Moore’s The Thing doesn’t have a glowing spine.

  3. We know Moore can do science fiction, but horror is a bit of a different beast. Sure, horrific stuff happens in BSG, but a guy’s chest opening up and biting off the arms of the guy trying to resuscitate him?

    I wonder if Moore will go back to John Campbell’s original short story “Who Goes There?” and take some inspiration from that.

    Also, this story has become almost cliché. X-Files blatantly ripped it off, for instance. I’ll be curious to see whether Moore can bring anything new to the table. Perhaps make the creature intelligent?

  4. Ugh.

    I am no fan of this concept. I can only imagine the great ire that will be roused when Professor Mortis hears about it. (He’s a huge Thing fan.)

    I think Kate has it right; the Thing is already a great movie. Why the hell do we need a remake of it? For crying out loud, isn’t John Carpenter still alive? Why can’t someone make an original movie for once?

    On the other hand, if I’ve got to trust someone to do a remake, I guess Ron Moore is the guy to do it. After all, he does have some experience with the whole “there’s an alien amongst us that looks just like us” style.

    It’s funny how cliches evolve. I remember actually reading “The Most Dangerous Game” a few years ago and thinking “Huh. Y’know, this isn’t a bad story. Too bad it’s been ripped off to the point of being completely and totally cliched at this point.”

  5. I definitely agree that The Thing need not be remade. In fact, I think Hollywood should issue a five-year moratorium on remakes—if only so they can spend a few years making original movies so that tomorrow’s filmmakers will have something to remake in twenty years.

    Isn’t there a Robocop remake on the table, too? Ugh.

    The only remake I think might be justified is the rumored one for the original Evil Dead. That might work, like the Dawn of the Dead remake, if they “reimagine” it with some better writing and a larger budget.

  6. A Robocop remake? Man, that’s just weird.

    A moratorium on remakes would be nice, but I don’t see it happening soon.

  7. The ‘thing’ with John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ is it really is timeless. The film was made in 1982 yet when peeped in glorious High Def you’d swear it was filmed yesterday. The film benefits from its ‘alien’ locale – those chilly Arctic research stations just never go out of style. And with every researcher sporting parkas and Sasquatch fuzz – one can’t argue that the clothing and hairstyles seem whack. What was hip at the Pole in 1982 stick rocks today.

    So that covers the aeshetics. The film looks great. Sounds sweet too. Carpenter wisely unplugged his Casio and turned the synth over to Enno Morricone who delivered a masterwork in minimalist scores – it just envelops and really helps develop the mood.

    So there’s two good reasons why John Carpenter’s The Thing should not be remade.

    Then there’s the ‘head crab’ (I wonder where Half Life got that idea?). And the Blood Test (which deftly balances the tension with those nervous giggles – even when you know exactly who’s infected – you still watch with jittery anticipation).

    And then Carpenter caps it all with that perfect, pitch black ending. McCreedy and Chiles – alone in the dark – wondering whether their death will come from the cold or from the other.

    Of course, had this topic been raised in 1982, would we have had the same reservations? Look how that turned out.

    If they must remake – how about fixing the flawed flicks with potential. Think of all the movies that held great promise but lost something somewhere in the execution. Hell, Carpenter lays claim to a virtual island of these misfit toys.

    Prince of Darkness. In the Mouth of Madness.

    Why not task Moore with They Live?

  8. I don’t even know if They Live needs a remake. Seeing as how we will soon have Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake inflicted upon us, it seems Hollywood is determined to remake only Carpenter’s good movies, so expect a new Escape from New York in 2010.

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