One of the most amazing aspects of The Thing prequel should have been the incredible design of the monster.
Fans were disappointed that the studio opted to go with mostly CG rather than the animatronic creatures style that made the 1982 version so iconic. Now the fine people at Studio ADI have released some of the animatronic footage showing us what would have been one of the scariest movie creatures of the last decade.
Algamated Dynamics Inc. was created by Tom Woodruff, Jr. and Alec Gillis in 1988, who cut their teeth under legend Stan Winston early in their career. They won an Academy award for best special effects for Death Becomes Her, and were again nominated for Starship Troopers, so it comes as no surprise that they were able to create a new and disturbing vision for The Thing prequel.
The video focuses on the evolution of creating the “Juliette thing” starting with some truly frightening pencil sketches which show some alternate directions that were considered. Next we are shown the progression from sketch to miniature models that helped refine the concept of Juliette’s human form morphing into a terrifying monster that still retains some of her human characteristics.
Then based on the model design we are able to see how ADI was able to create a wearable prosthetic with an incredibly high level of detail. Clearly the idea of using a wearable costume enhanced the creature’s ferocity instead of relying on solely on CGI.
Even though the 2011 film was a box office disappointment, the creature we saw was clearly the star of the movie with its innovative and horrifying design.
The prequel is the third movie based on John Campbell Jr.’s novella “Who Goes There?”, with the first being Howard Hawks The Thing From Outer Space in 1951 and John Carpenter’s The Thing in 1982.