In which I show myself up as a forlorn fanfic writing type by (re)publishing my prequel script to The Thing…
Your first question is, understandably, why on earth did I spent x number of months slaving over a script that I would never have any chance of selling, publishing professionally, or boasting about at cheese and wine parties?
Well, there was the obvious reason: I really like The Thing (as in the John Carpenter movie, not That Thing That Tom Hanks Did). It’s a given that almost anyone who’s watched The Thing more than once will have a nagging curiosity regarding what exactly happened at the Norwegian (Swedish?) camp that MacReady and his fellow Americans wander into at the start of the movie. After some years of pondering that very issue I decided that since the events at the Norwegian camp had been left open to interpretation I would try and provide my own dramatisation.
My second reason was to write the script as an exercise. At that time in my writing ‘career’ I had a history of not finishing any of my stories or scripts, so I started writing this one with the express pledge of finishing it. I also thought it would be a particularly interesting challenge to try and put together a full and complete story within the limitations set down by the movie: there were certain things that had to happen in my story (for instance, it had to end with two men in a helicopter chasing a dog across the Antarctic).
Anyway, I did manage to finish the script (the attached file does indeed end with two men, a helicopter and a dog). I haven’t read it for several years but I remember being more or less satisfied with it at the time. I’m sure if I read it now there’d be 1001 things I’d want to change, but I’m just going to stick it online, in whatever state it’s currently in, on the slight chance that some of you might interested in reading it (and if you do read it feedback, good or bad, is always welcome in the comments).
Of course, when I wrote this there wasn’t even any talk about a prequel film being made. Now there’s one imminent – and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they’ve done. Judging by the trailer it looks like the story they’ve come up with is pretty different to mine (but then you can only tell so much from trailers). I’ll be particularly interested to see how they’ve addressed those certain things that you just know have to happen.
Link: The Thing – Ground Zero (pdf)
By way of an added bonus here’s some Thing fan-art I made about 9 years ago (you’ll note that I liked my prequel title so much I ended up borrowing it for my script).
Click for larger versions…