Will Prometheus be the Last Prequel in Hollywood?

Prometheus is generating as much discussion on message boards and on Twitter as Inception did, however from a financial standpoint, Prometheus is not this year’s Inception. At The Atlantic they propose that prequels simply don’t work. Plastering the holes in the plot with a gimmicked attempt at answering all the questions the audience has doesn’t seem to

Prequels take one of the most engaging and imaginative aspects of fandom—obsessing over the inconsequential details that give a fictional world its character and texture—and move it off of message boards and onto Hollywood back lots, turning it into something poisonous to the art of storytelling. Plot points become pedantic info dumps, drama is diminished by the audience’s awareness of stories taking place in the future, and writers and filmmakers end up rehashing the flashiest superficial elements of their source material while draining of it of mystery and metaphor. Whether it’s Prometheus, the Star Wars prequel trilogy, or DC Comics’ thoroughly unnecessary line of miniseries filling in the back story of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ pointedly self-contained Watchmen graphic novel, the projects have the visual hallmarks but cast aside the tensions, themes, and tone that made the classic works resonate.

The Atlantic Prequels won’t die, that’s certain. Since Hollywood needs a way to bring back a brand, the prequel will still be used as a financial tool, rather than an artistic one, as it happened in the past, in cases like Indiana Jones and the Dollars trilogy. Even if you don’t see a prequel in the theaters, you should keep an eye for it in the ever healthy Direct to DVD racks at your local video store or Netflix or whatever you do to catch up with your VHS nowadays. This year’s biggest contender is Prometheus, who promised to be more than just a prequel, but the original story is not that fascinating or lucrative to the studio to even be consider for a sequel of its own. However, this one was so expensive that it might just happen. I’m just not confident that they’ll be able to bring back Ridley Scott for it, unless he signed an air tight contract obligating him to do so.

Tag Brum
Tag Brum
Tag Brum lives in Brooklyn and writes things from a computer whenever wi-fi is available. You can follow him on Twitter @tagbrum.


Related articles