‘The Thing’ prequel pulled from Universal release slate

Nov. 13, 2010 | 3:59 p.m.

Over at our sister blog, Company Town, there’s some news that makes it sound as if “The Thing” prequel is getting a frosty reception at Universal…

the thing poster The Thing prequel pulled from Universal release slateThe Universal Pictures slate is getting a little cloudy. The studio has decided to remove “The Thing,” its prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter science-fiction picture, from its scheduled April 29, 2011, opening, leaving the film without a release date. In its place, the studio has moved up “Fast Five,” the fourth sequel in the auto-racing “Fast & Furious” franchise from June 10 to the April slot. A studio spokeswoman said that “The Thing” was not yet ready and that the studio was very keen on the new “Fast & Furious” movie, citing the successful release of the franchise’s fourth film in April 2009.

“The Thing,” which tracks the discovery of an alien craft in Antarctica (the events directly precede those from Carpenter’s film), is being directed by debut filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. Production began last spring. Meanwhile, the studio has also faced a setback on its “Ouija” project, a big-budget picture adapted from the Hasbro board game that’s being produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes production company.

Universal executives met Thursday with “Taken” director Pierre Morel, who had been considered a front-runner for the directing job. But Morel and the executives couldn’t find common creative ground, according to two people familiar with the conversations who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the discussions. That leaves executives and producers to continue casting a net for directing candidates….


— Steve Zeitchik


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