Dr. Sander Halvorson was the lead researcher stationed at the Norwegian Antarctic research station, Thule Station. The character appears in the 2011 film The Thing and was portrayed by actor Ulrich Thomsen.
Based on his language, he is actually Danish rather than Norwegian, but since Danish and Norwegian are like dialects of the same language, this would cause no major communication problems. How a Dane ended up as the lead researcher on a Norwegian base is not explained, but does in no way strain credibility, since there is much cooperation between the Scandinavian countries. His last name "Halvorson" is actually more typically Norwegian than Danish (the normal Danish form would be Halvorsen), so perhaps his family background is Norwegian.
In the winter of 1982, paleontologist Kate Lloyd is recruited by scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson and his American assistant Adam Finch to join a Norwegian scientific team that has stumbled across a crashed extraterrestrial spaceship buried beneath the ice of Antarctica. They discover the frozen corpse of a creature that seems to have briefly survived the crash 100,000 years ago. After the creature is transported back to base in a block of ice, Dr. Sander orders them to retrieve a tissue sample, against Kate's protests. They drill into the ice and retrieve a tissue sample, presumably weakening the creature's icy prison in the process. Following the tissue extraction, Halvorson reprimands Lloyd for protesting his orders and warns her against publicly criticising him. Later that evening, as the team celebrates, the Thing escapes from the block of ice and rampages through the station before being cornered and incinerated. Following the chaos, Halvorson urges the team to perform an autopsy on the remains before they can deteriorate, only to be met by a generally negative response for his apparent callousness and lack of caution. American helicopter pilot Sam Carter suggests that they destroy the creature, only to be met with derision from the doctor. Shortly afterwards, the corpse, along with the partially digested remains of Henrik Larsen, are taken to the medical laboratory where they are eagerly studied by the fascinated Halvorson, with Lloyd, Finch and Karl assisting.
Following a helicopter crash and radio interference caused by an oncoming storm, the Norwegains decide to send a group of men to a nearby camp by snowcat; only to be warned against it by Kate, who has discovered the Thing's ability to replicate life and fears that one or more members of the team may be imitations. Halvorson chastises her for jumping to conclusions and spreading panic. After the Juliette-Thing rampages through the outpost, Sander is forced to relent and proposes developing a blood serum test, which is promptly sabotaged by a Thing which burns down the lab. At this point Kate proposes a makeshift test involving checking for tooth fillings - inorganic material which the Thing cannot replicate. Halvorson is initially resistant to the test, claiming there are too many variables for it to be effective, but is forced to admit that he fails the test and claims it is because his fillings are porcelain. After being separated from the uninfected group (along with Finch, Colin and station commander Edvard Wolner) Sander attempts to convince their guard, Peder, that the Americans are the real enemy and that they are accusing the wrong people. However the two groups band together in facing the threat posed by pilots Carter and Derek, who they suspect are imposters after surviving the earlier helicopter crash. During the confrontation, Edvard is injured by an exploding flamethrower fuel tank and shortly afterwards is revealed to be a Thing. In the chaos, Sander flees and attempts to hide from the split-faced Thing, only to be found and assimilated by the creature. His imitation attempts to flee the outpost by snowcat shortly afterwards.
- Director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. notes that the character of Sander Halvorson was a tribute to 1951 film The Thing from Another World. Presumably as a homage to Dr. Arthur Carrington, with whom the character shares many characteristics.
- Actor Dennis Storhøi was initially cast in the role of Sander Halvorson, however one week into filming the actor's alcoholism led to the production crew's decision to fire him. Scenes shot with Storhøi (including the cave entrance and the arrival at Thule with the Sea King helicopter) were edited in post-production to digitally replace the actor's face with the face of actor Ulrich Thomson.
- Interviewed by Norwegian press, Storhøi totally denied that he was fired because of alcoholism, dismissing this as unfounded rumours and implying that he withdrew from the project by his own decision. He however declined to give the "real" reason, saying only that it involved more people than himself and that he therefore did not feel free to comment further.
- Sander refers to the Alien Thing as a "survivor" of the crash, even though from his perspective it surely would've been a deceased specimen. Although likely a script error, this has lead to fans jokingly believing he was a Thing the whole time.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Q&A with Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. (English). outpost31.com (2011). Retrieved on 2015-09-05.
- ↑ http://www.kjendis.no/2010/07/15/kjendis/dennis_storhoi/film/the_thing/hollywood/12570463/