Top 10 Movie Prequels!
Words: Rory Cashin
This Friday sees the release of Oz: The Great & Powerful, a prequel to 1939's The Wizard Of Oz, telling the story of how Oz - both the man and the place - came to be as it is now, "now" being 1939. See, prequels can be a tricky business, having to set up a new story while not tinkering too much with what has gone before (or is it after?). Plenty attempts got it very, very wrong - The Phantom Menace, X-Men Origins Wolverine, Hannibal Rising - but there were some occasions where they got it very, very right.
10. PROMETHEUS (2012)
A dodgy choice, we grant you, but hear us out. It didn't do fantastically well setting up 1979's Alien as the next movie - apparently Paradise, the sequel to Prometheus, will come next, which will in turn set up the events of Alien - and some of the events in Prometheus were as stupid as stupid can be. But for every dumb moment, there were two fantastic moments, plus it was a beautiful, grown-up sci-fi dealing with something as heady as the debate between Religion VS Science. Worth a revisit.
9. INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984)
Everyone's least favourite of the Indy movies (at least until he got involved with crystal skulled aliens) was set one year prior to the events of 1981's Raiders Of The Last Ark. Without a doubt the darkest of the Indy movies, with Doctor Jones dealing with the likes of heart-pulling cult members and child slavery. But still, that mine-cart rollercoaster chase was all kinds of brilliant, and sometimes a little darkness is good for a popular series. See; Casino Royale, Batman Begins.
8. THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY (1966)
Set before 1964's A Fistful Of Dollars and 1965's A Few Dollars More, Sergio Leone capped off his Man With No Name Trilogy with the best of the bunch. Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef are the titular three, all on the hunt for a bounty buried in a remote cemetery. A classic in every sense of the word, its influence still felt even today in the likes of Tarantino's Django Unchained.
7. FAST FIVE (2011)
"What's this?", we hear you ask, "Fast Five is a prequel??" Well, yes, it is! Confusing titles aside, 2009's Fast & Furious, 2011's Fast Five and the upcoming Fast & Furious 6 are all set before 2006's Tokyo Drift. Whereas Fast & Furious was a toe-dip in the right direction, Fast Five cannonballed into the water with outlandish stunts and over-the-top action. Way more fun that it has any right to be.
6. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (2012)
Starting off right before the party that kicks off The Fellowship Of The Ring, An Unexpected Journey then skips back another 50 years to tell how it is that Bilbo Baggins came into possession of the One Ring To Rule Them All. Having just crossed the $1 billion dollar mark at the worldwide box-office, it would seem the audiences agree that a return to Middle Earth was worth it. Hopefully this December's The Desolation Of Smaug and 2014's There And Back Again will continue the trend.
5. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (2011)
After 2006's disappointing The Last Stand and 2009's terrible Wolverine movie, Fox had to do something sharpish with the X-Men franchise before the rights reverted to Marvel. So they brought in Matthew Vaughn, director of Kick-Ass, to give these mutant's a kick up their ass. Set during the Cuban Missile Crisis, First Class shows how Professor Xavier and Magneto became friends, and how that friendship turned sour. 2014 sees the return of Bryan Singer -director of the first two X-Men movies - for what epic sounding X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
4. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2011)
The last time someone visited the Planet Of The Apes, we got Tim Burton's messy 2001 movie, complete with still-indecipherable ending. Once again, Fox decided a reboot was in order (2011 was good year for Fox and reboots!), and brought the story back to the start, with an intelligent and realistic portrayal of how these damned dirty apes became the dominant life-form on Earth. Once again, 2014 sees a sequel to this prequel, with Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) bringing us Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.
3. STAR TREK (2009)
There was the original series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, not to mention the ten massively popular movies. But JJ Abrams (Lost, Mission: Impossible 3, the upcoming Star Trek Episode 7), takes us back before any of that, cheekily re-jigging the entire future of the Star Trek franchise by creating an alternative universe where none of what has gone before may necessarily happen again. The director is back with his awesome cast and love of lens flares with Star Trek Into Darkness, one of the most anticipated movies of the year.
2. CASINO ROYALE (2006)
As good as Pierce Brosnan was Bond, he was unfortunately saddled with some of the worst Bond movies, with the abhorrent Die Another Day the final nail in the coffin. Producers brought in Goldeneye director Martin Campbell to bring us back to where Bond began; his first kill, his first love, his first super villain. Daniel Craig was an excellent, obviously Bourne-inspired Bond, and it allowed the series to revel in more realistic settings, culminating in last year's sumptuous Skyfall.
1. BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
As bad as Batman & Robin was, there was a still a chance Warner Brothers were going to continue the franchise in that direction with Batman Triumphant, which would've featured Clooney going up against Nicolas Cage's Scarecrow and Madonna's Harley Quinn. Thankfully, they changed their minds, brought in Christopher Nolan, and ended up with a trilogy of the greatest superhero movies ever made, started off with Batman Begins. Bale was perfect as Bruce Wayne, and the real(ish) setting made this once ridiculous caped-crusader suddenly very applicable to our own worlds.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Tuesday 5th March 2013 | Movie