Is The Rig based on John Carpenter’s The Fog?

By Louie Fecou
Published: December 30, 2022 (Last updated: January 2, 2024)
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Is The Rig based on John Carpenter’s The Fog? We discuss the Amazon series and its connection to other fictional material. 

Horror fans will no doubt know of the John Carpenter and Debra Hill supernatural thriller The Fog. Released in 1980, this was Carpenter riding high on the incredible success of Halloween and wanting to do a different kind of movie from his breakout movie.

After a visit to Stonehenge with Hill, he began work on The Fog. The Rig is an upcoming supernatural thriller on Amazon Prime, and already people are wondering if it has been inspired by The Fog. In this article, we take a dive into the world of both productions and try to see if there is any common ground between the two.

What is John Carpenter’s The Fog about?

The Fog tells a basic ghost story that centers around the one-hundred-year anniversary of the town of Antonio Bay.

With the towns folk preparing for the anniversary, a strange fog begins to roll into the area causing all manner of chaos. A fishing boat is attacked by something that is in the fog, murdering all the occupants.

An uncovered journal buried in the walls of the local church, reveals a story of a ship called The Elizabeth Dane, which contained a cargo of gold, that was manned by a crew of unfortunate sailors that have contracted the plague. The town did not want the crew on their land, so they sink the ship and steal the gold, using it to build their town. A hundred years on, the ship and its ghostly crew have returned for revenge.

In the movie, we follow the main characters and their struggle to survive the attack and solve the riddle of why they have returned. Although considered a classic now, The Fog was not an instant hit like Halloween. 

Film company Avco Embassy was not happy with the project when it was delivered, and insisted that reshoots should be done to make the film scarier and with more gore. Carpenter himself has also said that he did not initially feel happy with this project, and scenes such as the ghost story at the campfire prologue were added to create atmosphere, and scenes of the town being affected by the supernatural fog were filmed over the opening credits.

More gore was also added in an effort to compete with other horror movies of the time, and although the film did well financially, it had a million-dollar budget and a 21 million dollar box office, it did not receive a good critical response. The movie really found its feet though with its release on home video, and over the year it has been reappraised as an 80’s classic horror.

What is the series The Rig about?

The Rig is a supernatural thriller that is set on the oil rig Kinloch Bravo. 150 miles off the coast of Scotland. The workers on the rig are ready to finish their shift and get back to the mainland. However, a mysterious fog rolls in and enshrouds them. The crew is unable to leave as the fog wreaks havoc on their base.

A power outage causes minor concern, but a seismic shift amps the danger up, and the rig is shut down. The rig now has no way to get in touch with the outside world, and the fog begins to divide the crew. The fog seems to be causing psychological damage to some crew members, and tensions start to rise. It seems that something old is awakening, and the crew of the rig are its target.

When will the series The Rig be released?

The Rig is set to drop on Amazon Prime on January 6th, 2023. It stars Iain Glen, Calvin Demba, Emily Hampshire, Martin Compston, and Mark Bonnar and was created by David McPherson. There will be six fog-enshrouded episodes, and this will be the first Amazon Prime series to be filmed in Scotland. Directed by John Strickland of Line of Duty fame, this series already has us stoked.

Is The Rig based on John Carpenter’s The Fog?

If you have watched The Fog and become aware of The Rig, you might already know that there are a few connections between the two properties. Both premises have a cast of characters that are trapped in a fog-enshrouded environment under threat from a mysterious and supernatural fog that seems to have evil intent.

In The Fog, our base under siege is the town of Antonio Bay, but there is also a gripping and suspenseful final act with Adriene Barbeau trapped on the roof of her lighthouse radio station being attacked by ghostly pirates that have emerged from the fog. In the trailer of The Rig, we can see some similarities, with the cast of the Kinloch Bravo also out at sea and under attack.

Of course, the huge comparison that will be made is the fog itself that rolls ominously over the settings for both productions.

Creator David MacPherson is no stranger to fantasy. He has a novel called Here Be Dragons, so we know he has a love for fantasy stories, so there is always a chance that he may have seen The Fog at some point, and it could have subconsciously influenced his writing when it came to The Rig.

How many other comparisons between the two are unknown as The Rig has not been released yet, but although The Rig may have some superficial relationship with Carpenter’s classic, we do not think that there will be any ghostly shipwrecked sailors in the Amazon Prime TV series, but you never know.

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