Universal debuted the first ever footage from The Thing prequel at New York Comic Con. We witnessed a pretty impressive mix of ominous foreshadowing and hot alien tentacle action. So far, so good. Spoilers ahead...
In a place where there is nothing, they found SOMETHING....fade out "some" to reveal just THE THING.
The trailer starts off in New York City. Scientist Kate Lloyd (played by Scott Pilgrim's Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is having coffee with scientist Adam Goodman (the shirtless guy from Community). Adam is telling Kate that they're going to Antarctica, that he's taking her out from the museum where she "collects bones" to be on the forefront of something revolutionary. Kate asks him what it is that they'll be studying, but he doesn't know.
Flash-cut to wide shot of a snowy landscape where a square little truck putters across the white terrain, next thing you know it's night, storming, you're outside of the original Norwegian base. An elderly voice, possibly the main scientist in charge of the mission, explains that they've made a discovery, and everyone is about to be a part of something groundbreaking. The trailer slowly swaps from the Norwegian team digging inside a snow cave, to close ups on each face finally stopping on a giant ice block, where The Thing is presumably trapped. Then they bring out the drill.
If the first half of the trailer is any indication as to what the pace of the actual film will be like — and director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. stated that he cut this teaser himself — then all of the worries about the pacing matching up with the original Thing may not apply. The tension was there, and it was building — they even used the Norwegian folk-song scene (which Mary Elizabeth Winstead told us about during our set visit) to add a dash of eerie tension.
But then things speed up. You watch the cast surround the cloudy block of ice, and lower the drill. Bit by bit, the drill gets closer to the black mass hidden under the ice. Then boom — literally. The music cuts out and all you hear are booms, coupled with close-ups of horrified scientists. You only get a few, very brief, shots of The Thing, but there was one particular out of focus scene where the monster was behind Kate, waving what seemed to be old-school John Carpenter tentacles.
There were a few other shots where The Thing was either being lit on fire — by blow torch, naturally — or it briefly appeared as a giant gray blob, it was cut fast so it looked like a blob to me but I'm sure there was definition in there somewhere. We'll have to wait until the trailer is actually released, so we can break it down panel by panel. Perhaps this is The Thing's "original form."
Director Matthijs explains what we mean by the "original form" during the panel Q&A:
Yes you're going to see it in its pure form, but the question is: is that its pure form? We will see it in its original form, how they find it in the ice. It escapes from the ice and then starts attacking in its original form, then it transforms.
More fast cuts of jacketed-Norwegians stumbling through the halls of what looks like the alien space craft and a quick scene of the Joel character standing over an open hatch, presumably to the spacecraft at night. During the fast scenes there's a voice over where a deep male voice talks about how what they found (in the ice) will change humanity, religion yada yada.
Overall, it was a pretty entertaining trailer, but it is just a trailer. Still, we're ready to see more, much more. Just hopefully not set in New York city.