The Thing script
The Thing (1982)
Synopsis: In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog. When they take in the dog, it brutally attacks both human beings and canines in the camp and they discover that the beast can assume the shape of its victims. A resourceful helicopter pilot (Kurt Russell) and the camp doctor (Richard Dysart) lead the camp crew in a desperate, gory battle against the vicious creature before it picks them all off, one by one.

CAST:

MACREADY 35. Helicopter pilot. Likes chess. Hates

the cold. The pay is good.

GARRY 46. The station manager. Stiff. Ex-army

officer. Wears a handgun.

CHILDS 33. Six-four. Two-fifty. Black. A

mechanic. Can be jolly. But don't mess.

BLAIR 50. Sensitive. Intelligent. Unassuming.

An assistant biologist.

DR. COPPER 45. Professional. A decent man. A good

doctor.

PALMER 27. Second string chopper pilot. Crack

mechanic. Long hair. Slight sixties acid

damage.

NAULS 22. The cook. Bright. Black. Irreverent.

But kindhearted. Roller skates.

NORRIS 44. Stocky. Rugged looking. A

geophysicist. An incipient heart condition.

BENNINGS 38. A meteorologist. Dutiful. An old pro.

CLARK 24. The dog handler. Likes it here. Good

at his job.

SANCHEZ 21. The radio operator. Hates it here.

Lousy at his job.

In the winter of 1982 these men were commissioned by the

United States National Science Foundation to gather data

concerning the physical and natural sciences on the

continent of Antarctica.

THE MAIN COMPOUND OF U.S. OUTPOST #31

The interior is a cramped and never ending maze of

hallways, passageways and doors which connect the many

rooms and compartments within the compound. Sturdy, but

prefabricated materials have been used in its

construction.

There is a laboratory. An infirmary. A kitchen and mess

hall. A communications room and sleeping quarters. Other

cubicles are for storage and supplies.

The most spacious area of the building, and the main

center of activity, is the Rec Room. Of the many entrance

ways to this room can be seen the small work chambers with

their sophisticated computers and other scientific

equipment.

The below quarter houses the generator and still other

compartments for storage.

A long underground tunnel connects the main compound to

the dog kennel.

FADE IN:

A STARRY BLACKNESS

From out of the billions, the smallest of specks drives

slowly forward. It closes; getting larger; its features

becoming more identifiable: a vessel. Flip-flopping; out

of control. Its stern roaring with flame. It passes; its

blue fire surging into the screen.

"THE THING"

A thundering...

FADE TO:

A BLIND AND FERAL WHITENESS

... Glacial desert... gusts of snow... superimpose:

ANTARCTICA 1982 WINTER

A SOUND:

Loud and strident. A helicopter streaks across frame. It

travels precariously close to the ground; its chassis

battered and swayed by the wind.

INT. COPTER

Red dials beam on the faces of two men. One carries a

rifle and searches the horizon with binoculars. The other

pilots. Their unkempt faces, their blazing eyes notate a

wildness. They bark at each other in some Scandinavian

tongue. Two men arguing like mad and desperate children.

The man with the binoculars sights something.

EXT. HORIZON - BINOCULARS' POV - A DOG

It turns and snarls at the craft some fifteen hundred

yards to its rear. Then whirls and gallops off. A gun

blast kicks up snow at its heels.

INT. COPTER

Another blast of rifle fire as the man takes issue with

his prey. The pilot slams a fist into his gunman friend

and implores for better aim. The craft swoops lower and

the engine is put into full throttle.

EXT. HILL - THE DOG

running feverishly up and over a hill of ice. A weather-

beaten, wooden sign sticks up on the other side:

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Bill Lancaster

William Henry "Bill" Lancaster (November 17, 1947 – January 4, 1997) was an American screenwriter and actor. more…

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