If there’s one thing that stinks about prequel movies, specifically the kind meant to present the origin story of an iconic villain, it’s that a feature or even a trilogy isn’t enough to show us the beginnings of an evil character. Not just a bad guy, but someone for whom our first impression is their committing anything from a gruesome murder to the destruction of a whole planet of people.
That’s part of the reason that prequel TV series spun off from movies are so successful. Shows like Bates Motel and Hannibal can take their time with developing the human side of characters we’re primarily familiar with as monsters more than men. That said, we’re sure that not every horror film will wind up with as quality an origin story as Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs have.
With prequel series all the rage right now for both movies and TV shows, we’re already set to see this sort of spin off for Friday the 13th (about the Voorhees family), Resident Evil (so far just proposed), Minority Report (at least we presume this one to be a prequel), the Avengers franchise (Agent Carter lies between Captain America: The First Avenger and the modern entries into the franchise) and Batman — Gotham may focus on young Jim Gordon, but it’s also showing us a bunch of villains’ early years, too.
Today, Hollywood announced one more: Ashecliffe is the tentative title for a prequel to Shutter Island scripted by Dennis Lehane (the author of that movie’s source material), Martin Scorsese (who’ll direct the pilot) and Paramount TV (which is also working on series based on Narc, Ghost, School of Rock and The Truman Show).
Interestingly enough, we also got news today of a TV series based on The Omen, which will go in the other direction. Titled Damien and set up at Lifetime, the show will follow the 1976 horror film’s main character, the son of Satan, as an antihero Antichrist. Variety reports he’s been written as a “dark” and “romantic” man. I bet he has a thing for dating nannies. Who mysteriously die.
As for what other movies could have prequel series, I keep coming back to those already getting prequel movies, like The Shining and King Kong. Give us more time with them! I’d also maybe like a show based on the backstories we hear in Oculus. And sticking with “villains,” we’ve so far gotten prequel stories for the top 4 baddies on AFI’s list, but how about number 5: Nurse Ratchet from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest?
For non horror or thriller types, I’d watch a prequel series for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It’s a procedural, just as The X-Files was, but here the aliens are the consistent characters, though they never speak and we only ever get to know the abductees.
What movie should get a TV series prequel?
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