These movies absolutely need a prequel entry.
Once upon a time, it was considered a given by fans that George Lucas had killed his own franchise by creating unnecessary Star Wars prequels. However, those prequels ended up winning a new generation of fans over, so Hollywood began focusing on creating prequels for everything from Alien to Hunger Games. And since some movies are more suitable for prequels than others, we decided to put together our definitive list of hit movies that most definitely deserve a prequel.
7. Titanic (1997)
As older moviegoers may remember, the ongoing joke among audiences when Titanic first came out was that everyone knew how it ended. Sure, we didn’t know exactly how things would play out with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack and Kate Winslet’s Rose, but we knew damn well the ship was going to hit that infamous iceberg.
If we had a Titanic prequel, though, we could learn more about these two famous cinematic characters before they ever made their ill-fated voyage. And we’d particularly like to see more of what Jack Dawson was doing before that voyage, especially because he had such a wild life story at such a young age. Of course, good luck getting James Cameron to leave his growing Avatar universe long enough to film a prequel.
6. The Matrix (1999)
Before he kicked all kinds of ass in the John Wick franchise, Keanu Reeves helped redefine action films with the first Matrix movie. The following sequels helped further explore a dystopian world in which humans are kept alive by machines who are keeping them in a pleasing VR simulation while feeding off their life force.
While we were big fans of The Matrix Resurrections, that movie made one thing abundantly clear: this is a franchise that needs a prequel rather than another sequel. Ideally, we’d get at least one entire prequel film devoted to something we saw only briefly in two of the shorts in the excellent Animatrix movie: how the war between humans and robots started. And we might even see how the Matrix was first created, which would be a real treat for fans.
5. Blade Runner (1982)
While the casting of Harrison Ford as Deckard helped make Blade Runner a hit, the real magic of this Ridley Scott film is that it was such a fully realized cinematic universe from the very beginning. Sure, it helped that the director was adapting a famous novel written by Philip K. Dick. But it’s tough not to get shivers while reading the opening text that tells us about a world of robotic slave labor and the specialized cops who chase the bots down when they go rogue.
As for us, we’d love a prequel that helped explore how things got this bad. What were the first Replicants like, and what was it that caused the wealthiest among humanity to abandon Earth for places like Mars? In short, this was a film about a broken world, and we’d love to experience the silver screen gut punch of seeing how the first cracks appeared.
4. John Wick (2014)
Clearly, the John Wick series has been doing just fine by focusing on sequels. John Wick 4 was a massive box office success, and it helped to flesh this world of over-the-top assassins out better than we ever could have hoped. However, we can’t help but feel like this franchise has been dangling a prequel carrot in front of us the entire time.
After all, the premise of these films is that Keanu Reeves plays a hypercompetent assassin who tries to retire and then gets reluctantly dragged back into the game. A prequel, then, would focus on who the title character was in his prime. As a bonus, this would be an opportunity to flesh out the other supporting characters as well as the insane organizations at the heart of this universe.
3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a movie masterpiece, full-stop. Once you get past the breathtaking animation and the killer performances from actors like Bob Hoskins, you start to notice how rich the history of this world is. For a funny cartoon crossover, the film mostly plays it straight with the idea of what Hollywood would do if we discovered a world of living cartoons: exploiting them to make money, of course.
In many ways, the film we got was about the end of that era, with the toons finally getting ownership of Toontown back after the death of Christopher Lloyd’s Judge Doom. A prequel, though, could help us see the early days of Hollywood and the toons working together. And, of course, we could see more of Eddie Valiant’s relationship with his brother and partner before that man is killed by Judge Doom.
2. Die Hard (1988)
Even before the heartbreaking revelations about Bruce Willis’s heart problems, Die Hard was a franchise getting diminishing returns. The original movie’s charm was about an average Joe cop who gets stuck in an insane situation and must fight his way out with no shoes and no idea of what to do next. It was riveting, but there were only so many times we could return to the well.
The solution is simple: we need a Die Hard prequel, one which provides both the opportunity to recast Willis and explore the stories of his early days on the force that made him such a supercop. Interestingly, we got very close to getting such a film before it was ultimately scrapped. Fortunately, you can still read the Boom! comic book series Die Hard: Year One to get an idea of how cool such a movie would be.
The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
The ending of The Cabin in the Woods made sure that we would never get a sequel (and man, was that a ballsy way to end a movie). Then again, you could consider countless horror movies to be part of this film’s universe. That’s because the plot centers around the idea that all of the “cabin in the woods” style horror films we have seen have featured crazy scenarios carefully orchestrated by sinister agents trying to make sacrifices to ancient gods.
While we won’t get any sequels thanks to the wrath of those elder gods, this franchise is quite ripe for a prequel. We’d love to see how the governments of the planet first made contact with these gods as well as more of why these character archetypes are so important to the gods and how victims are engineered to fit the archetype. We could even have a series of prequels exploring how this process evolved over time (honestly, a medieval The Cabin in the Woods prequel practically writes itself).