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In 1982, director John Carpenter, who made a name for himself with the chiller Halloween, released The Thing based on the story 'Who Goes There', written by John W. Campbell. The story had previously been filmed in 1951 for legendary producer Howard Hawks, entitled The Thing From Another World, directed by Christian Nyby.
The first screen adaptation, however, didn't use the concept of an alien that was able to mimic, and assimilate other life forms that Campbell wrote about. Carpenter and screenwriter Bill Lancaster realized how powerful the idea was, and decided to make use of the source premise.
Carpenter assembled an all-male cast, which included Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat and future Emmy-winners Richard Dysart and David Clennon. The movie told the story of a group of men in an American outpost in the Antarctic, and what happens when the stumble across an alien life form that wiped out most of the crew of a Swedish settlement. The Americans begin to get killed off themselves, and become distrustful of each, as anyone one of them could be the shape-changing alien.
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