According to rottentomatoes.com, a new Tomb Raider movie is going to come out sometime in the near-future. It’s supposed to be some sort of franchise re-boot and since it centers around a younger Lara Croft, Megan Fox of “Transformers” fame is rumored to star instead of Angelina Jolie. The decision to make this prequel of sorts does not surprise me since it seems like every tired movie franchise has been doing the same exact thing.
The trend seemed to have started after George Lucas made those three critically condemned Star Wars movies not too long ago, which followed the rise of Darth Vader. Since then, franchises have been choosing to tell back-stories instead of creating new legacies.
Other recent examples include “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “Star Trek,” “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans,” the new Halloween and “Batman Begins.” “The Dark Knight” went as far as to re-invent a villain that has already been used with Heath Ledger’s Joker and the 2008 Incredible Hulk movie, starring Edward Norton, pretended the 2003 Ang Lee directed Hulk movie never even existed.
Why is it that so many movies are turning to prequels? It’s no secret that many of them have been quite successful. There definitely is a stigma that sequels are never as good as the original movie, so maybe movie executives are trying to find a way to beat the system, or at least defy the odds.
One aspect of prequels which is somewhat comical is that the effects and production values of such films are always much better than the originals. For example, the universe and technology portrayed in the new Star Trek film far surpasses the cheesy looking fake spaceship in the Star Trek episodes starring William Shattner as Captain Kirk. Also, Wolverine, AKA Hugh Jackman, is about twice as jacked in the new Wolverine prequel as he was in the three previous X-Men movies.
Prequels are quickly becoming a tired movie fad, which is why I think some franchises, like Watchmen, should think outside the box and make new “future” series re-boots about characters who are over the hill and past their prime.