Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions are developing a new adaptation of THE THING which will be inspired by the full-length John Campbell novel FROZEN HELL
News has been breaking on Universal and Blumhouse Productions planning to reboot/ Remake the classic science fiction horror story of ‘Who Goes There?‘ or as the world knows it as ‘The Thing‘. Producer Alan Donnes took to the Facebook platform to announce the plans. While the announcement didn’t fill me with joy, to begin with, what is interesting is that the makers intend to go back to the entire book and film sections that have never been seen before. It’s an unknown fact that so far only an abridged version of the story has been adapted for the screen, created from a novella that was published.
The novel’s writer, John Campbell wrote two novels in 1938, the aforementioned ‘Who Goes There?‘ and another book, ‘Frozen Hell‘. Hollywood has so far mixed both together to come up with the story we all know. ‘Frozen Hell‘ was unknown and unpublished for decades, only recently being rediscovered again. The book expands the story somewhat dramatically and gives us vital back story elements that have remained unseen until now.
Alan Donnes wrote on Facebook:
“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 have 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? Many thanks to a lot of people but none more so than the heirs to the story for their faith and trust in me. I said I’d get it done and here we are. I am forever indebted to you!”
At first, my feelings were “Oh HELL no!” when it came to the subject of a remake of the classic movies. The original black and white ‘The Thing From Another World’ is a classic in its own right and one of the first films I can honestly say made me jump at several points during proceedings. And everyone knows that I love Carpenter and his ‘The Thing‘ remake is still one of the go-to films in my collection. I saw the film at London’s Prince Charles Cinema and is a highlight of my movie-going career alongside seeing the original ‘Halloween‘ at the same venue. The 2011 prequel/sequel/whatever is most certainly not in the same class as the original versions of the property although I will admit, the nods to what came before it and actually welcome tie-in to the start of Carpenter’s version were a nice and welcome touch.
However, until I read the whole statement, I was dead set against any remake or reboot of such a classic. And especially not from Blumhouse. They did manage to bring back ‘Halloween‘ from the brink and gave us a fantastic 2018 film that I still watch on a twice-monthly basis but thankfully they went down the R-rated route with it. Recently though, they have given the world PG-13 watered-down horror and remakes like ‘Black Christmas’ and the upcoming ‘Fantasy Island‘ that could have and should have been so much more but instead, plummed the PG-13 depths. With this announcement though, I’m confident they will go full-on R rated material. And knowing that they are going back to the entire Campbell story and bringing us scenes and information we have yet to see on-screen fills me with optimism instead of dread. As long as they keep the film as a blood-soaked, gory horror movie, then we may yet get a worthy remake yet.
Just a few small things though, if you wouldn’t mind. Keep Ennio Morricone’s sublime score for the film instead of re-scoring it. And of course, a Kurt Russell cameo or even a main role would be much appreciated!
THE THING remake opens sometime in the future.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Staff Writer and Books and Literature Correspondent for Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!