I haven't seen this movie in a long time, but I always thought of JC's version as a sequel to the 50's version. The main thing that leads me to this is the scene where they are viewing the videos/films the Norwegians made of the ufo. those clips look exactly like clips from the original movie.
I think it's just a homage to the 50s film (not the first time Carpenter did this)
The Thing is a film that doesn't need a sequel. There's little point. Either the Thing is dead in the end (and probably so are Childes and MacCready) or else the Thing survived. Frankly if it survived mankind is screwed.