Some of the best movies have been prequels to other popular movies. In fact, all the movies on this list are prequels to popular franchises. From horror franchises like Extraterrestrial to those of science fiction like the star wars movies, the following list of prequels are all great nods to a hit franchise.
Although all of these prequels have proven themselves, the question still arises whether fans really like the prequels or not. For some, fans find that the prequels often fall short of audience expectations and are just a way to capitalize on an already popular moneymaker. For others, however, the prequels offer insight into characters that weren’t explained in the original franchise. Whether or not the prequels were a fan favorite, some, like Clint Eastwood’s western films The good the bad and the ugly, are arguably some of the best films ever made. Although this is a short version of what could be a very long list, here are some of the best prequel movies, ranked.
Prometheus is the prequel to the popular horror franchise Extraterrestrial. Ridley Scott directed both despite the films being shot 33 years apart. Prometheus follows the story of archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway as they attempt to uncover the origins of mankind. Arriving in the faraway world, archaeologists find something that threatens to destroy humanity instead of learning from it. The film stars Naomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender as lead archaeologists. Although Scott said the movie wasn’t necessarily a direct prequel to the Extraterrestrial franchise, fans can relate the similarities between alien types, mention the Weyland Corporation and, of course, the even glowing alien from inside a human’s stomach.
9 Red Dragon
Another prequel to a popular horror franchise is Red Dragonwhose storyline takes place before we meet Hannibal Lecter in Thesilenceofthelambs. Both films are based on a series of novels written by Thomas Harris. Red DragonThe plot of is similar to that of Thesilenceofthelambs, but this time Lecter helps another agent catch another killer. FBI agent Will Graham comes out of retirement to convince Lecter, who has since been sent to an asylum after pleading insanity to avoid the death penalty for his murders, to help him capture a new serial killer. Red Dragon served as the only prequel until 2006, when Harris wrote another novel about Lecter’s upbringing and the reasoning behind his turn to cannibalism. Of the two films, Red Dragon was better received.
8 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
One of the lesser known prequels is IIndiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Yes, you’ve definitely heard and maybe even seen the movie before, but not many people know that the movie works as a prequel to The Raiders of the Lost Ark. The events in cursed temple only takes place a year before that of The Raiders of the Lost Ark. In this film, Indiana Jones and her “partner” Shortround are on the hunt for a stolen sacred stone and a gang of missing village children. The Stolen Stone is one of five who, if reunited, can rule the world. cursed temple is often considered the darkest film of the indian jones franchise and therefore perhaps the least popular.
seven X-Men: First Class
X-Men: First Class is of course a prequel to the popular x-men franchise. This movie looks at some of the original characters and their origin story of how they ended up with Professor X. It’s also the only time we see Erik Lensherr (Magneto) and Charles Xavier (Professor X) as allies and not sworn enemies, although the rift begins to set in by the end of the film. In First class, we also learn the reasoning behind why Charles is in a wheelchair. Kevin Bacon plays the villain in this movie and tries to start a nuclear war by pitting two countries against each other. Ironically, he ends up reuniting Magneto and Professor X with some of the other mutants.
6 Casino Royale
Another lesser-known prequel film is Daniel Craig’s first appearance as James Bond in Casino Royale. The film is a prequel to die another dayanother movie in the 007 franchise. Casino Royale portrays Bond as a new 007 agent who has just received his government license to kill. The film casts the suave Bond as an undercover poker player sent to stop a man, Le Cipher, from funding terrorists. It is also in this film that we meet the first love of Bond’s life, Vesper Lynd, played by Eva Green. Casino Royale is often considered one of Craig’s finest performances as an iconic character.
5 The Godfather Part II
The Godfather Part II is obviously a prequel to The Godfather. Similar to a few on this list, this franchise is based on a new series written by Mario Puzo. Part II shows a young Vito as he gradually enters the vicious crime mafia. What sets this film apart from the other prequels on the list is that the film begins as a prequel, but then jumps back to the present day and follows Vito’s third son, Michael, as he becomes familiar with the family business. Al Pacino plays Michael and, of course, Roberto Di Nero plays Vito.
4 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit acts as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings franchise. The prequel was so popular it spawned more movies, creating its own Hobbit trilogy. In the film, fans learn more about Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit of The Lord of the Rings franchise that kept the One Ring before Frodo was given responsibility for it. Bilbo’s adventures bring him face to face with familiar species like dwarves, elves, orcs and wizards.
3 The Ascension of the Planet of the Apes
The Ascension of the Planet of the Apes is essentially a prequel to the original series of the same name. This film follows Will Rodman, played by James Franco, who is the scientist behind a drug that improves his chimpanzee’s intelligence. This improvement allows the chimpanzee, Caesar, to become self-aware and help his fellow chimpanzees with the same medicine. With this power, the chimpanzees attempt to overthrow the humans on the planet.
2 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
A thug is one of the few standalone films of the star wars franchisees. The events in A thug take place just before A new hope. The film centers around the mission to steal the Death Star blueprints. Starring Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, the title character, Jyn must work with unlikely allies to stop the Death Star from becoming the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. When Jyn learns of her father, who was forced to help work on the Death Star plans, she joins the Rebel Alliance as they attempt to stop foes like Darth Vader. The movie is set to get its own prequel in a Disney+ series called Andor. It’s unclear if Jones will return as Jyn on the show, but Giant monster robot reports that the actress is in talks to return as the character in the future star wars project.
1 The good the bad and the ugly
The good the bad and the ugly is not only one of the best prequels ever remade, but it’s also arguably one of the best movies, period. The film precedes the other two films in Dollars Trilogy, A handful of dollarsthe sand For a few dollars more. Blondie (The Good), Angel Eyes (The Bad) and Tuco (The Ugly) meet a dying man who tells them about buried gold. Each with a different clue, they must work together to access the treasure before everyone else.