John Carpenter’s The Thing turns 40 this year and Fathom Events will host a special anniversary screening for two days only on June 19th and 22nd. Tickets are available now at Fathom Events’ website. This special event will also feature the Terror Takes Shape documentary.
Released in 1982, The Thing is a remake of 1951’s The Thing from Another World. In Carpenter’s 1978 slasher classic, Halloween, Laurie Strode and Tommy Doyle are watching The Thing from Another World on TV.
Slash Film reports that Carpenter’s remake was not initially well-received and didn’t rake in the big bucks at the box office. It is considered a cult classic, having developed a “rabid” fan base in the years since its release. It’s been “reappraised as one of the greatest genre films in history.” Carpenter said, “I loved making this movie, and I’m so excited that people can celebrate it and see it in theaters 40 years later.”
The Thing takes place at Outpost 31 in Antarctica, where a research team finds a being that has been encased in the snow for over 100,000 years. Once it’s thawed out, it wreaks havoc. It turns out that the alien being buried in the snow is a parasitic, shape-shifting alien that takes on its prey’s form after consuming it. This characteristic of The Thing stirs up paranoia within the team. Once they learn of The Thing’s shape-shifting abilities, they’re unsure whether or not they can trust each other. With a screenplay by Bill Lancaster, the film includes special effects by Rob Bottin. Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, David Clennon, Ricard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffatt, Joel Polis, Thomas G. Waites, and the voice of Adrienne Barbeau.
Lancaster’s screenplay was based on the 1938 novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr. Another Thing-related fun fact is that Tobe Hooper was almost director instead of John Carpenter. The original screenplay was a faithful adaptation of Campbell’s novella. However, Hooper had a different idea which ScreenRant describes as “a sci-fi horror Moby Dick that didn’t even include the titular shape-shifting alien.”