Last week, there was a date shuffle by Universal on two of their upcoming films. "Fast Five," the newest installment in the "Fast and the Furious" series, moved up to April 29, 2011, and "The Thing," the prequel to the John Carpenter 1982 horror classic has now simply… moved.
It's easy to speculate about the reason behind a date change, but in this case, it's as simple as one film being ready and another film not being finished yet. HitFix learned in the last few weeks of plans for upcoming additional photography on the film, and when we contacted Universal for clarification on their plans for the film, producer Marc Abraham was the one who called me to explain.
Everything he said confirmed what we'd already heard, that the filmmakers have a cut of the movie and that they are now hoping to use this next round of photography to enhance existing sequences or to make crystal clear a few story beats or to add punctuation marks to the film's feeling of dread.
I've been an advocate for years for films just building in an additional photography period from the very start, a period after you've cut the movie to ladle on the gravy if you can, and to solve problems the right way if you have to. Abraham has been producing since "The Commitments," and he's a guy who seems very direct about what he's doing with this picture and what the expectations are.
It's important to remember that on the John Carpenter version of "The Thing," there was a year of post-production necessary to create the iconic monster sequences, and in many cases, they had no idea how they were going to accomplish any of that while they were shooting the film. Rob Bottin's work was an act of faith up till the moment it actually started cutting into the film, and there was nothing easy about the magic that Carpenter captured in that film.