As Ridley Scott returns to the ‘Alien’ franchise today with his sort-of-prequel ‘Prometheus’, this got us thinking about other movies that have yet to be given the prequel treatment. A few of the ideas we’ll pitch in this week’s Roundtable might not be half bad. Others, we fully admit, are entirely awful, but still probably no worse than what Hollywood will inevitably shovel onto cinema screens.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
‘Predator 2’. ‘Aliens vs. Predator’. ‘Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem’. ‘Predators’. You already know what’s missing in all those other cash-ins: Dillon! Plenty of people out there incorrectly think Arnold Schwarzenegger or that seven-foot-tall alien are the real stars of ‘Predator‘, but I’m more interested in that scheming, manipulative CIA liaison so brilliantly brought to life by Carl Weathers. Remember that arm-wrestling match where Dutch asked the outmatched Dillon if the CIA had him pushing too many pencils? That practically screams “Prequel!” I don’t want to see some otherworldly planet where a bunch of aliens’ mandibles are clacking away. Show me Carl Weathers doing clerical work, and you can count on my eight bucks.
A typically bad idea for a prequel would be for ‘RoboCop‘. I suspect that a story where OCP comes to the level of power seen at the beginning of the first film would be messy with plot holes and current politics, and yet still lack for tension or drama. Worse still, I could see how the backers of such a project would expect some kind of RoboCop prototype, and that the project would refer back to ‘RoboCop’ in ways that might at best feel uninspired.
The prequel I really want to see is ‘Inception‘. I’d love to see the invention of the dream-entering technology and the lives that Cobb, Arthur, Eames and Mal all had before things became so dramatic. What kind of dream heists did they pull off, and how did they become accustomed to traipsing around inside someone’s head? [Ed.: I recommend that the title be ‘Preception’. -JZ]
M. Enois Duarte
I’m a fan of the ‘Vampire Chronicles’ series by Anne Rice, and I love Neil Jordan’s adaptation of ‘Interview with the Vampire‘, the first book that introduces our distraught hero, Lestat. I refuse to acknowledge the despicable movie version of ‘Queen of the Damned‘. What a complete waste. Nonetheless, fans are in need of a prequel for ‘Interview’, an origin story about Lestat for which there’s already a book. One day soon, hopefully, we’ll see ‘The Vampire Lestat’ brought to the big screen.
Folks really seem to enjoy Josh Brolin’s Tommy Lee Jones impression in ‘Men in Black 3’ this year. That got me thinking. Jones is probably too old to play Sam Gerard again, but a lot of fans might like to see more films in ‘The Fugitive‘ series. Answer: A reboot/prequel starring Josh Brolin as Sam Gerard, with Tommy Lee Jones as Gerard’s cantankerous father/mentor, Pappy Gerard, who just happens to be the head of the U.S. Marshal training program. During the first week of academy, a fugitive gets loose in the area, leaving Sam and Pappy to hunt him down, all with the help of junior versions of everyone else we’ve seen before: Cosmo, Biggs, Newman, Cooper… They’re all there! They even get medical care from a young med student named…. Richie Kimble. Is this good or what?!!
With James Cameron talking about making at least three more ‘Avatar‘ movies, I can’t help but think of how lame a prequel would be. Would you really want to see Sam Borington as a Marine? It would be like ‘Black Hawk Down’ set in the world of ‘Blade Runner’. The best part would be seeing his spine get destroyed. If Cameron isn’t bluffing, I’m sure we’ll get at least one prequel. If that doesn’t follow Worthington, then we’ll get a bunch of CG blue people fighting machines. I like ‘Avatar’, but holy hell, someone stop Cameron from going all George Lucas on us.
It seems to me that the only thing most prequels accomplish is to totally demystify all the most interesting aspects of the original work. Did you think that Darth Vader was a fearsome villain the first time you watched ‘Star Wars’? Of course you did. But did you still feel that way when you learned that he started out as a petulant teenage crybaby with serious mommy issues? Can you watch the original three movies again without thinking of that douchebag behind the mask? The ‘Star Wars’ prequels have thoroughly destroyed the character of Darth Vader.
To that end, I’m surprised that no one has yet made a prequel to Sergio Leone’s famed “Man with No Name” trilogy (a.k.a. the “Dollars Trilogy”). This just seems like such an obvious candidate. The original films leave open all sorts of questions about Clint Eastwood’s badass gunslinger: Who is this man? Where does he come from? How did he learn to be such an excellent shot? What’s his name? Obviously, anyone with a functioning brain knows that the films are much more compelling for not giving us these answers. Unfortunately, most movie studio executives don’t have functioning brains. I fully expect to eventually see a prequel with some lame, nonsensical title like ‘Before the Dollars’, in which we learn that the Man with No Name was originally a bratty kid who did have a name… and that name was Timmy. Have fun watching ‘A Fistful of Dollars’, ‘For a Few Dollars More’ or ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ again with that in mind.
What movies do you think might actually benefit from – or be completely ruined by – receiving a prequel? Tell us your ideas in the Comments.