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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

It's Rumor Time: Are Universal and Blumhouse rebooting The Thing?

Illustration for article titled It's Rumor Time: Are Universal and Blumhouse rebooting The Thing?
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You’re groaning. We get it. John W. Campbell Jr.’s 1938 novella Who Goes There? has been adapted twice—three if you count the “prequel” that was really just a remake in disguise—and John Carpenter’s 1982 version is rightfully considered a masterpiece and a high-watermark of the pre-CGI era. So, why try (and fail) to improve upon perfection, right?


Well, there’s a twist to this potential remake of Campbell’s story. According to Bloody Disgusting, Universal and Blumhouse are collaborating on a film that serves not as an adaptation of Campbell’s novella, but rather the full-length novel from which it was cobbled. This longer version of Who Goes There?—titled Frozen Hell—went unpublished for years, but author John Betancourt apparently dug it up and launched a Kickstarter to help fund its release. On Monday, Betancourt published an update to the Kickstarter in which he announced Universal and Blumhouse’s involvement and that “it’s being fast-tracked.”

His post also references a Facebook post from a producer named Alan Donnes, though it appears to have been deleted. Per Bloody Disgusting, it read thusly:

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 had 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?

Donnes, however, doesn’t appear to have many producing credits, let alone a history with studios like Universal and Blumhouse, so it’s probably best to take his post with a grain of salt, especially since it’s now deleted. What’s piqued our interest, however, is that Bloody Disgusting confirmed all of the above with their own sources. They’re usually not wrong about this sort of stuff.

As we wait for an official announcement, why not refresh yourself on how Who Goes There?’s adaptations stack up to their source material. Or just listen to Kurt Russell cackle his way through The Thing’s commentary track. They’re both a good time.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.