Nobody can let a name property stay buried, can they? Universal and Blumhouse are working on another remake of The Thing. The story of a shape-shifting alien was first told on the big screen in 1951’s The Thing From Another World, which was masterfully remade by John Carpenter in 1982 with The Thing, and then in 2011 we saw so-so prequel to The Thing called… The Thing. It was a remake trying to pass itself off as a sequel.
Another Thing Remake
Now, another remake is in the works from the studio behind some of the biggest horror movies of the last few years, Blumhouse. They produced the Halloween reboot, Get Out, The Purge, and Paranormal Activity franchise. Blumhouse is famous for turning cheap horror movies into huge hits. It’s their winning formula. Bloody Disgusting confirmed the company is working on a remake of The Thing, although they’re describing it as “a new adaptation.” It’s a common description for straight-up remakes.
A New Adaptation
The Thing From Another World and The Thing are based on John W. Campbell Jr.’s novella, “Who Goes There?” In 2019, a man by the name of John Betancourt discovered a novel-length version of the novella. With Kickstarter, he resurrected the book, called “Frozen Hell.” Here’s Betancourt’s explanation:
In 1938, acclaimed science fiction author John W. Campbell published the novella Who Goes There?, about a team of scientists in Antarctica who discover and are terrorized by a monstrous, shape-shifting alien entity. The story would later be adapted into John Carpenter’s iconic movie The Thing (following an earlier film adaptation in 1951). The published novella was actually an abridged version of Campbell’s original story, called Frozen Hell, which had to be shortened for publication. The Frozen Hell manuscript remained unknown and unpublished for decades, and it was only recently rediscovered.
Shortly after Betancourt said a movie was in the works, producer Alan Donnes confirmed the news on Facebook in a now deleted post, meaning he might’ve jumped the gun in his announcement:
“It’s OFFICIAL! I received my signed contract and first check! I am Executive Producing a remake of THE THING but with additional chapters of John Campbell’s groundbreaking novel, Frozen Hell, that had been lost for decades. Now, for the first time ever, Campbell’s full vision will be realized on the big screen. The new film will include the very best of RKO’s THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, John Carpenter’s classic THE THING and both books, Frozen Hell and Who Goes There?”
Universal and Blumhouse are fast-tracking the project, apparently. The project doesn’t have a writer, director, or star yet. At the very least, drawing from the novel, its lost chapters, and the first two versions, just maybe we won’t see another beat-by-beat remake of Carpenter’s movie. The prequel stuck too closely to the 1982 classic, which never ages thanks to stunning practical effects and an always terrifying concept.
The ’82 classic even looks infinitely better than its 2011 prequel, in which too many monsters look like cartoons. The prequel has a lot of ugly CGI, which replaced practical effects the filmmaker originally shot. The change didn’t make fans happy and the end result was tedious.
Why It’s Relevant
Who to trust? That’s a question that strikes fear in The Thing, and it’s a question that strikes fear in everyone. In this day and age, maybe it’s the right time for another horror story of distrust and fear. We already have one perfect movie based on the novella, so another adaptation isn’t exactly necessary, but maybe someone with a fresh and exciting new vision can do something new with the concept.