The Thing Prequel Starts Shooting in March –

John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of my favorite films ever made and I consider it one of the best sci-fi horror ever put on celluloid. There’s been talk for years of making a sequel to the 1982 film. While nothing ever came of it outside of some very well-done and well-written Dark Horse Comics were issued and set after the events of the first film. SciFi Channel even had a tentative plan to film a 4-hour miniseries sequel, but after many delays and obstacles to getting the pre-production beyond the concept stage the plan was dropped.

In the beginning of the new millenium Ron D. Moore of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica (reboot) fame wrote a script which would take place prior to the evtns of the first film. This prequel would tell the story of how the “the Thing” was first discovered by the Norwegian team on Antarctica and the subsequent incidents which would lead into and tie with Carpenter’s film.

I am quite excited that the prequel is going to finally start filming this March and into June. The same studio which financed and released two excellent horror films in the past 10 years (James Gunn’s Slither and Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake), Strike Entertainment, will also be the one responsible for this prequel. Matthijs van Heijninjen will be directing the film from Ron D. Moore’s scriptment with rewrite work from Eric Heisserer.

The question, I am sure fans will have, is will the filmmakers go full on digital, traditional practical effects or a combination of both. If they even go with option 2 or 3 they definitely need to bring in Rob Bottin and Stan Winston’s Effects House to either consult or handle the FX work. Bottin should just be made part of the crew just because he’s Rob Bottin and The Thing was as much his film as Carpenter’s.

Here’s to hoping Heijningen and Heisserer don’t fuck this prequel up.

The Thing Prequel Starts Shooting in March –

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The Pacific (HBO Mini-Series)

HBO’s 10-part mini-series in 2001 adapting historian Stephen Ambrose’s best-selling book, Band of Brothers, was a hit and success with both critics and the general audiences. The book and the series detailed the life of members of Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division during it’s campaign. A campaign which first began during training in Toccoa, Georgia then moving on to the Allied training in the UK before participating in some of the bloodiest battles of the Allied Western Front Campaign: Normandy, Operation Market Garden, Battle of Bastogne and finally the taking of Berchtesgarden and Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest.

The mini-series was known for it’s historical accuracy and attention to battlefield detail. Band of Brothers owes much of its visual and film-style to Stephen Spielberg’s (he was one of it’s exec. producers with Tom Hanks being another) WWII epic, Saving Private Ryan. The heavily washed-out color stock gave the series an almost black-and-white quality with just the sudden splashes of color like red and orange to highlight blood and fire. When it came to the battles the series set the bar quite high with Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down and Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan being the only two to match it in technical mastery.

The series has become a yearly staple comes Memorial and Veteran’s Day in the US. I could always wake-up on those two holidays, turn on The History Channel and see a Band of Brothers marathon. Easter has it’s DeMille The Ten Commandments and these two holidays celebrating the sacrifices of soldiers, living and dead, have their BoB.

It’s now 2010, HBO Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks go for round two with another 10-part WW2 mini-series simply titled, The Pacific. This second series will move from the European Theater of Operations over to the Pacific. Like the first mini-series, The Pacific will tell the story of the war from the eyes of a couple men on the ground. This time the men are Marines of the 1st Marine Division and through the eyes of some of these men we see WW2 fought in the Pacific and despite being fought in the same war it distinguishes itself for it’s sheer brutality. Audiences will learn such hallowed names such as Guadalcanal, Peleliu and Okinawa.

So, March 2010 people who enjoyed Band of Brothers should definitely tune in to HBO and watch it’s bookend series: The Pacific.

The Pacific Trailer

The Pacific Trailer 2

The Pacific On-Set Featurette