So wait, I thought “The Thing” prequel was going to pick up the story from the point of view of the Norwegian scientists seen briefly in John Carpenter’s “The Thing”? You know, the people who originally came in contact with the space alien creature, only to be killed off? Isn’t that the whole reason behind making this a prequel instead of a sequel? Apparently yes and no, if this casting all is any indication. The plot for the prequel is also heavily revealed along with the character breakdowns, so SPOILERS AHOY. Our lead, it appears, is one Kate Lloyd, with Sam Carter as the male hero. The pseudo human villain (the real villain being the creature, of course) is one of those Mad Scientist types who is guaranteed to get killed in a most gruesome way by film’s end.
[KATE LLOYD] In her late 20s to early 30s, pretty, bright-eyed, intelligent, she’s a graduate of Columbia and a Ph.D. candidate in paleontology (the study of prehistoric life). On the recommendation of her friend Adam Goodman, Kate is tapped for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by Dr. Sander Halvorson to join his research team in Antarctica, where an extraordinary discovery has been made. Upon arrival, Kate soon finds herself at odds with Halvorson about how best to proceed with the discovery — an alien spaceship with a mysterious and sinister frozen THING found nearby — specifically whether to transfer the specimen undisturbed to a more appropriate facility for analysis, or, per Halvorson’s wishes, to drill into the specimen’s ice encasement for a definitive tissue sample. Kate’s misgivings about her involvement grow when Halvorson ignores her advice and collects his tissue sample — a critical error in judgment that ultimately frees the trapped organism and triggers a series of horrific incidents and attacks. Furthering her sense of isolation, most of the scientists at the site speak Norwegian, a language she doesn’t understand. Kate looks to her friend, Adam, for help stopping Sander’s obsession from getting them all killed, but eventually must take matters of life and death into her own hands. In the end, her only hope of survival is to join forces with Sam Carter, the chopper pilot who flew her team to the remote Norwegian base.
[DR. SANDER HALVORSON] In his late 30s to early 50s, austere, scholarly and imperious, he’s a microbiologist from NYU who leads a science research team to Antarctica to help his old friend Edvard interpret and analyze an extraordinary discovery made beneath the ice. Sander, a brilliant scientist and a master of self-promotion, knows that his involvement in such an historic discovery will bring him fame and fortune. Blinded by ambition, he refuses to abandon the “project” even as the bodies pile up around him. He is annoyed when Kate, whom he considers more of an apprentice than an equal, disagrees with him and openly questions his decisions in front of the others…LEAD. Actor must be able to speak some Norwegian.
[SAM CARTER] In his early 30s, rugged, handsome, blue-collar, he’s a helicopter pilot with a private charter service that transports personnel and supplies from McMurdo Station to remote research sites across Antarctica. Carter is a mercenary. He flies when he wants, where he wants, and he flies for one reason: money. But his resourcefulness, experience and get-it-done mentality make him indispensable. Arriving at Thule Station, he is the first to suspect something strange and dangerous is going on. Trapped there by faulty equipment, he becomes an unlikely ally of Kate’s — he reminds her (in temperament) of her father, now deceased, also a pilot. He and his co-pilot Jameson are nearly killed in a helicopter crash as they attempt to leave under less than ideal conditions. Carter must ultimately join forces with Kate to stop the THING’s rampage.
Find more character breakdowns over at SpoilerTV.
Matthijs Van Heijningen is directing the prequel from a script by Eric Heisserer.