Some awesome action movies become series, expanding their universes and sharing fresh tales about beloved characters. A few of these stories are so skilled at creating their settings that they should have a prequel to reveal the character’s past before those stories began and how society changed. Here, check out 10 action films that ought to have a prequel.
Top 10 Action Movies Deserving Prequels
Atomic Blonde (2017)
Atomic Blonde proved that Charlize Theron is truly a master of action. The story comes from a comic called The Coldest City and follows Lorraine Broughton (played by Theron) who heads to Berlin after an MI6 agent is murdered. Theron explained to Variety: “You don’t know anything about this woman. It’s very unusual for a woman to get that in a movie. Many critics had problems with this – that’s very old-fashioned thinking. You don’t have to be emotionally controlled to care about someone.”
A prequel showing how Lorraine became a skilled fighter would be quite interesting. We don’t really need the whole story of why she became a spy, but it would be enjoyable to watch her transform into a capable spy and assassin. What’s even more thrilling is the concept of a female spy in the late ’70s, a time when that would be uncommon. Anya Taylor-Joy could portray the young Lorraine Broughton, as she’s already playing a younger version of Charlize Theron in Furiosa. This movie is a prequel about Charlize Theron’s character from Mad Max: Fury Road.
Minority Report (2002)
“Minority Report” is a science fiction movie that deserves more appreciation. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise during his peak as a movie star, the film narrates a tale about the Pre-Cogs and how their visions led to the creation of a Pre-crime unit. A prequel to this story could focus on the discovery of the Pre-Cogs’ abilities and the establishment of the Pre-crime unit.
The idea is so extraordinary that explaining it to the public and forming laws around it wouldn’t be simple. How did they test these abilities? Who was the first person accused of a future crime they hadn’t yet committed? Did society and the media readily accept it, or was there resistance? Numerous questions arise, making it an intriguing story, much like those originating from Philip K. Dick’s imagination.
Escape from New York (1981)
“Escape from New York” is remembered for two main reasons: Kurt Russell’s remarkable portrayal of Snake Plissken and the unsettling concept of Manhattan turned into a high-security prison. There are two potential approaches for a prequel. One option is to explore Snake’s backstory, tracing how the former soldier transformed into the confident antihero who pulled off a daring heist at the Federal Reserve. This would result in a sci-fi action heist film reminiscent of “Ocean’s Eleven” set in a dystopian society.
Alternatively, the prequel could delve into how New York evolves into a prison, along with the reasons behind other cities like Los Angeles following a similar path. This movie would depict the events leading up to the chaos, showcasing a time before the nation’s decline, and explaining why Manhattan becomes the testing ground for the ominous notion of major cities as sprawling prisons.
The Purge (2013)
“The Purge” is a horror-action series that has gained significant popularity. What initially began as an action-horror movie has now expanded to include five films, a TV series, and shows no signs of slowing down. Although there has already been a prequel titled “The First Purge,” which explored the testing of the Purge in Staten Island, there’s potential for an even earlier prequel.
The intriguing questions include how a country as politically divided as the United States could embrace the idea of the Purge and legalize it. What were the global perceptions of this concept? How different was the original idea from what eventually became “The Purge”? This movie could take the form of a political thriller or offer a response to the rising crime and death rates in the country, with the decision to implement the Purge aimed at reducing violence throughout the rest of the year. The narrative holds a captivating story that audiences would be eager to watch.
The creator of the franchise, James DeMonaco, shared the origin of the idea with CBR: “The wild concept of a Purge night came from my wife. We were driving in Brooklyn, and a road rage incident occurred where a drunk driver cut us off. I confronted the situation, fists were thrown, chaos ensued, and the police got involved. She turned to me and said… ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we all got one freebie like this every year!’ I understood her sentiment… it stuck with me for years.”
The most captivating aspect of “Inception” lies in its construction of an entirely new and peculiar society where people are captivated by dream-sharing. Within the movie, dream-sharing technology has been in existence for some time, with its origins linked to the military as “Project Somnacin.”
Imagining a film that chronicles the technology’s inception and its widespread adoption would be a remarkable science fiction endeavor. What were the true motives behind the military’s creation of this technology? Who stumbled upon the concept of limbo? Were there any movements opposing the technology due to concerns about the military delving into people’s dreams and thoughts? This world holds numerous unanswered questions, forming the foundation for a unique film that complements the original while delving deeper into its universe.
The Matrix (1999)
“The Matrix” was a groundbreaking film that continues to influence action movies even today, particularly with its remarkable fight sequences. While the movie centers around Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) as the chosen one destined to rescue humanity, there are numerous concepts within the film that warrant their own stories.
Exploring the backstory of the war between robots and humans that serves as the backdrop would be a sci-fi enthusiast’s dream. Many films have examined the aftermath of this conflict (like “The Terminator”), but few have delved into how the machines initially gained autonomy and turned against their creators.
Another intriguing avenue would be to delve into the origin tale of Morpheus (played by Laurence Fishburne). This story would detail his departure from the Matrix, his awakening to the actual reality, and the realization that he wasn’t the chosen one, yet he would play a pivotal role in humanity’s salvation. This narrative, only hinted at in the original films, has the potential to make a captivating movie. While maintaining the franchise’s hallmark spectacular fight scenes, this new film would offer a fresh storyline within the Matrix universe.
Mission: Impossible (1996)
The “Mission: Impossible” franchise, which kicked off in 1996, has achieved remarkable success. In the inaugural movie, Ethan Hunt (played by Tom Cruise) is already an established member of the team, sharing strong camaraderie until they are all tragically killed. In “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One,” there’s a suggestion that Ethan’s origins lie in thievery or a rebellious life, with Gabriel (played by Esai Morales) allegedly being responsible for the death of his first love.
This narrative could form the foundation for an engaging film that brings a fresh dimension to the franchise. This time, Ethan would rely more on his intelligence and cunning rather than his trademark daring stunts to contribute to saving the world. Set in the late ’80s or early ’90s, the film’s analog atmosphere would infuse it with a distinct vibe, creating a story that harks back to traditional espionage – a storytelling approach that consistently resonates on screen.
John Wick (2014)
The John Wick series took the world by surprise, becoming a massive success beyond expectations. To continue exploring the captivating universe of assassins and their unique hotels, one intriguing direction could be to delve into the past instead of the future.
Throughout the films, we’ve heard various accounts of lethal characters recounting stories about Wick (played by Keanu Reeves) before his retirement, offering ample material to draw from. A straightforward concept would be to depict the night that granted him his freedom, enabling him to live with Helen (portrayed by Bridget Moynahan). This would involve Tarasov tasking him with the seemingly impossible mission of eliminating all his adversaries in a single night, an excellent premise for a prequel.
Alternatively, the story could center on Wick’s journey to New York, his training under The Director (played by Anjelica Huston), his encounter with Winston (played by Ian McShane), and the transformation into the skilled killer we recognize. This narrative might culminate in the moment when the Baba-Yaga first meets his future wife.
Kill Bill (2003)
In true Quentin Tarantino fashion, “Kill Bill” toys with time and offers glimpses into The Bride’s (Uma Thurman) and Bill’s (David Carradine) past, though not to the fullest extent. Both characters possess such magnetic charisma, and the world they inhabit is so vividly created that the groundwork exists for a prequel trilogy within this universe. Such a trilogy could deepen the emotional impact of the original revenge-focused films.
One movie could delve into Bill’s journey of mastering martial arts and establishing his reputation as an assassin. This narrative would unravel the tale of a complex antihero, concluding at the point when he assembles a female assassin squad, eventually crossing paths with The Bride. The other two prequels might center around the Deadly Viper Squad, elucidating how each member was recruited and detailing their evolution into an exceptionally lethal team. With nods to shows like “Charlie’s Angels” and similar productions, these films would enhance the original stories, augmenting the emotional weight of The Bride’s retribution against her former comrades by providing insights into the camaraderie they once shared.
Die Hard (1988)
The standout aspect of the original “Die Hard” was its portrayal of an ordinary cop thrust into an immense predicament while attempting to rescue his wife. It showcased how ingenuity and clever tactics could overcome a group of mercenaries. With multiple entries in the series and Bruce Willis no longer able to portray the character due to health reasons, crafting a prequel about John McClane’s earlier years in law enforcement emerges as a promising solution.
The prequel’s narrative should be intentionally contained in scope to avoid overshadowing the impact of the original film. It could illuminate how John McClane always stood out as a unique police officer, consistently approaching situations in a distinctive manner compared to his fellow New York cops. While the concept isn’t entirely novel – there was a previous attempt to explore a younger McClane’s character – the idea of recasting the role and presenting stories from the early ’80s in the New York law enforcement milieu could refresh the franchise. This approach would infuse the series with a new dynamic while maintaining the essence of the beloved John McClane character.