Monday, October 4, 2010

Doing the Right THING

Okay, this is the kind of (ahem!) thing I love to hear.  But first, what I'm talking about:

Another movie of The Thing is currently filming.  It's not a remake, actually, but an extension of the original in the form of a prequel.  It even promises to end the way the original movie begins.  I've known about it for some time now... and after my initial uninformed eyeroll, I wound up very intrigued and interested in the project.   Truth is I could use a little more of The Thing myself and it sounded like a fine idea, especially since those involved really seemed to care.  It's also good to know the paleontologist whose presence is needed in (and thus comes to) Antarctica is female.

New Movie

All righty, back to what I'm happy about hearing.  A new interview/report has just come out which gives some more insights into the production.  Music to my ears.  Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. seems like a man, as they say, after my own heart - a dedicated and purist storyteller when using another's work as a base. Said in this article at MovieWeb:  You find the axe in the door in this movie, there's an axe in the door and you see how the axe got in the door.  The interviewer says: It's obvious to anyone that steps foot on the set that the filmmakers are bending over backwards to make this film connect to the original as best they can. 

WELL HOSAH!  Marc Abraham (the interviewed) goes on to talk about the process of Hollywood, just shy of saying it's shame the way it is.  But they're taking the opposite approach.  With The Thing they're sticking to their guns as well as to the original.  Thus, they're able to be super-inventive while oddly locked into many restrictions... like that axe.  On a purely creative level we knew it would be difficult. On a much larger bird's eye view you say to yourself, hey that's the deal. I think that when we looked at it, it was more of a challenge. Its kind of fun that you see an axe in a door, an ice block, a spaceship or this mayhem in this radio room because it's like CSI, it's a crime scene. What happened? We had to go back and go, at one point someone picked up an axe thinking...

Original Movie
And if that's not dedication enough for you, Abraham said:  Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. has it on his laptop. Not only screen captures of it but the entire movie and there isn't a moment when he doesn't go back to the original. He's so careful about where the axe is in the door, what the ice block looked like, or the spaceship, where they stand when we see the spaceship. Because we can do so much more, so many things we could do, but when it came to being anything that was referenced in that movie, we have absolutely stayed with it. Thousands of hours he's spent looking at that movie. He knows and is respectful of every aspect.

Bravo!  Shouldn't it always be like that?  The real shame is that respect such as this is the anomaly.

And you know what?  I don't even remember an axe in a door!  I guess it's been a while since I've seen John Carpenter's half of The Thing.  I'll just have to watch it again, I suppose... hmm, I wonder if Buttercup has seen it.

(And yes, I'm well aware that Carpenter's isn't the "original" but it is in a sense.  He didn't just remake the 1951 original The Thing from Another World, he thoroughly reinvented it.)

Just the THING You to Want to Hear

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