It’s hard to get up in arms about a remake of The Thing when John Carpenter’s masterpiece was, technically, a remake itself (it’s really more of a re-adaptation of the original source material, Who Goes There?, but I don’t think most people see the distinction when you get down to it). Except for the fact that Carpenter’s version is so perfect and still holds up so well today that the very concept of bothering with a remake seems like an exercise in futility. You just won’t improve on that.
Which is why I was interested in the idea that the long proposed remake of The Thing would in fact be a prequel (click here for that story from September) – the monster working its way through a Norwegian base would be essentially the same story anyway, just with a different beginning, so it’s like having a remake and not having a remake all at the same time.
But now it seems that the prequel idea is out, and the remake idea is back. Don’t know why that changed, but the good news is that Strike Entertainment, who is producing the film, got Ronald D. Moore to write it. Moore is best known as the brains behind the current revival of Battlestar Galactica, easily one of the best shows on TV today. What makes the show so great – and what makes Moore a fantastic choice for writing this script – is the depth of characters and the complexity of their conflict. The Thing, while it’s about a shape-changing monster, is also about a small group of people trapped somewhere, trying to survive and deal with each other. That’s very similar to Galactica.
But what does this mean for Battlestar? Moore is a heavy presence on the show, dealing with the script and storylines every single week. Can he still do that while writing a movie? Is this signaling that he’s moving on? Look what happened to Joss Whedon’s shows when his attention was diverted… I don’t want to see any dip in Battlestar’s quality. What can I say, I’m a selfish fan.