I'm trying to keep a positive attitude when it comes to Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing. And while I have my concerns, I can't complain too much about the official plot synopsis that turned up online yesterday (Bloody-Disgusting was kind enough to share it) and I'm pleased with what I've read.
Granted, it seems hard to screw up a prequel to Carpenter's film -- particularly since that version highlights exactly what happened at the Norwegian base that uncovered the buried spacecraft in the first place. Let's be honest, though -- knowing Hollywood, they could have tried to take this in a totally different direction. Luckily, they didn't.
According to the new synopsis, the film will follow an international group of scientists who unwittingly unleash the shape-shifting alien life-form. Marooned on the base, paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) must team up with helicopter pilot Carter (Joel Edgerton) in a fight for survival as paranoia spreads throughout the base when everyone begins to assume everyone else is really the monster.
When I first read the full synopsis (which you can check out over at BD), my initial reaction was "what's this international group crap? They were clearly Norwegians in the Carpenter version." In the film's defense, it does later mention that Winstead's character is on a Norwegian base. So, apparently they are sticking with the established backstory from Carpenter's film. Sort of.
Honestly, I'm rooting for this film to be good. I love Carpenter's film and I'd take no pleasure in seeing the prequel fail. If they're going to do it -- and they are -- then I hope it turns out well. I have no illusions about it being better than JC's classic, though. Expect The Thing to land in theaters on April 29th, 2011