Ten Things You Might Not Know About … The Thing!
1. Donald Pleasence was originally considered for the character of Blair, Lee Van Cleef for the role of Garry, and Isaac Hayes for Childs.
2. The female voice on MacReady’s computer was performed Adrienne Barbeau.
3. When the film first aired on network television, Universal provided a completely different cut of the movie, which included early scenes introducing each character. Disowned by John Carpenter, this version no longer exists.
4. Much of the FX work in the scene inside the dog cage was done by Stan Winston (un-credited) as Rob Bottin was suffering from exhaustion at the time due to his immense workload.
5. Keith David wears gloves throughout most of the film because he had broken one of his hands in a car accident and needed to cover up his cast.
6. At the beginning of the movie when the Norwegians land at the American base, the one with the gun says in Norwegian “Get the hell out of there! It’s not a dog; it’s some kind of thing!”
7. For a scene where Dr. Copper‘s arms are severed, a real-life double amputee stand-in was used, wearing a mask in the likeness of actor Richard Dysart.
8. Nauls’ death was originally filmed with him being attacked by Blair. John Carpenter was unsatisfied with the effect and left Nauls’s death ambiguous.
9. An alternative ending was shot showing MacReady rescued and having taken a blood test proving he was human. This was done as a precaution and never used, even for test screenings.
10. Of all his films, John Carpenter has stated that The Thing is his personal favorite.