1st pics from The Thing prequel make us want to see it NOW

The first images from the Thing prequel popped up online today, and as soon as we saw them, we thought—Do we really have to wait until April 2011? Can't we see this movie right now?

There's no Kurt Russell to battle the evil shape-shifting alien creature this time around, as in John Carpenter's The Thing. Instead we have Joel Edgerton (King Arthur) as Sam Carter, a helicopter pilot who's essentially taking on the role of Russell's R.J. McReady for the movie.

Also on board as palaeontologist graduate student Kate Lloyd is actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), who will no doubt bring a feminine touch to the movie—make that a kick-ass feminine touch, judging from her action shot with the flamethrower.

The Thing prequel relates the story of what happened to those Norwegian researchers just before the 1982 film opened, putting all our questions to rest once and for all (at least we hope so).

Here's the official synopsis:

Antarctica: an extraordinary continent of awesome beauty. It is also home to an isolated outpost where a discovery full of scientific possibility becomes a mission of survival when an alien is unearthed by a crew of international scientists. The shape-shifting creature, accidentally unleashed at this marooned colony, has the ability to turn itself into a perfect replica of any living being. It can look just like you or me, but inside, it remains inhuman. In the thriller The Thing, paranoia spreads like an epidemic among a group of researchers as they're infected, one by one, by a mystery from another planet.

Paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has traveled to the desolate region for the expedition of her lifetime. Joining a Norwegian scientific team that has stumbled across an extraterrestrial ship buried in the ice, she discovers an organism that seems to have died in the crash eons ago. But it is about to wake up.

When a simple experiment frees the alien from its frozen prison, Kate must join the crew's pilot, Carter (Joel Edgerton), to keep it from killing them off one at a time. And in this vast, intense land, a parasite that can mimic anything it touches will pit human against human as it tries to survive and flourish.

Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., the movie also stars Eric Christian Olsen (Tru Calling, NCIS: Los Angeles) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost). It will open April 29, 2011.

What do you think of the pics? Do you think the prequel can possibly compare to John Carpenter's 1982 film?

(Via Collider)

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