Prequelmania: Hollywood’s Enthusiastic Step Backward

Providing backstories to such major films as Star Wars, Batman, The Godfather, and currently to the TV series The Sopranos, the prequel has become just as popular, if not more so, than the sequel. Considering the entertainment industry’s growing obsession with this genre, one can only wonder what future prequel surprises they have in store for us.

Rosebuddy: Little Charley Kane’s best friend (only friend, actually) was his sled, Rosebud. This is the story of the future newspaper tycoon’s formative years, largely shaped by his mother’s leaving him in the hands of a guardian who, most fortunately for Charley, turned out to be a financial wizard and parlayed the boy’s trust into a fortune…despite the fact that little Charley didn’t much care for the man and would often enlist the aid of his best friend Rosebud as a battering ram to assault him. Charley’s teenage years are especially revealing, as he grows too big to carry on his physical relationship with little Rosebud, but nevertheless continues to love and care for his close friend, going as far as to specify in his will that Rosebud is to be with him always and cremated upon his demise.

The Undergraduate: We follow the quirky life of The Graduate’s Benjamin Braddock at an East Coast college, where, for example, he would practice that blank, vacant, stare in front of his dorm room mirror for hours, in an attempt to seduce coeds by feigning innocence. Since Dustin Hoffman has always looked young for his age, and continues to, the studio is considering, by employing tons of expert makeup and computer enhancement, actually casting him once again in the leading role and praying he lives long enough to finish the film.

Squabbles at a Tombstone Saloon: An in-depth look at how, before their famous Gunfight at the OK Corral, Wyatt Earp and the Clantons had been arguing back and forth for years…bickering about whatever people bickered about in 1880 in a boring hellhole like Tombstone – and how, from time to time, Doc Holliday would return from his south-of-the-border, dissolute journeys and put his two centavos in. As a tribute to original-cast pals Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, George Clooney and Brad Pitt are being considered for playing Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, since, like Lancaster and Douglas, they’re really pals…but, even more important, because they are…well, George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

License to PunchA view of the adolescent years of the boy who would grow up to be Agent 007, and the grueling drills his father put him through with that goal in mind. The most difficult part of the production was finding a young actor who looks like he could grow up to be either Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig; (a George Lazenby lookalike wasn’t necessary, since nobody remembers him). One of the aforementioned actors is being considered for the role of the father, with the exceptions of, naturally, Sean Connery and Roger Moore, who passed away, and George Lazenby, who may or may not have.

Burbank Boulevard: Long before Norma became Desmond and lived in a large, swanky mansion on Sunset Boulevard, she was a struggling young department store model who lived in a small, seedy studio in the San Fernando Valley. But Norma wasn’t just another aspiring actress with a pretty face – she had a pretty scary face…which the director Max von Mayerling (who would become her first husband) thought would be perfect for some of his more bizarre silent movies. This is the story of her meteoric rise in silent films and…well, unfortunately, nothing else.

Momma’s Boy: This prequel to Psycho examines Norman Bates’s complicated relationship with his mother, who he hated enough to kill but loved enough to keep her decaying, smelly body around afterwards. The studio’s first choice for the challenging role of Mrs. Bates is, of course, Meryl Streep (who else?), but rumor has it that Kathy Bates has been lobbying for the part because she thinks the name similarity is interesting. The studio thinks Kathy is crazy, but also that possibly that’s exactly what the role needs.

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