TMI, or too much information, is an acronym ignored by Hollywood studios who want to believe that audiences need to know every single detail about a character’s background. If a film has an interesting story with a complex character, there’s a good chance that a studio wants to make a prequel. Here’s the thing: very few movie prequel are actually any good. This list ranks the worst prequels that nobody asked for... or needed.
The worst film prequels seem to have something in common; most people have never heard of them. Did you know that there was a prequel to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? Have you ever heard of the prequel to The Flintstones? How many decent films can studios really get out of Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates?
Talk about unnecessary prequels - who thought the world really needed to see the story of how Harry met Lloyd in special education high school classes? Are the characters from Dumb and Dumber really that complex to warrant such exposition?
Prequels are universally known to be bad. Of course, there are exceptions, but chances are, if the backstory was that important, it would have been told in the original film. These worst franchise prequels are clearly geared to be a money-grab, a chance for studios to make more money off popular movies and film franchises, instead of coming up with fresh ideas. Everyone's looking at you, George Lucas!
Be sure to make your voice heard and vote up the worst movie prequels of all time.
Who knew there were three Van Wilder films? The last installment came in 2009, seven years after the first movie, which starred Ryan Reynolds. The original comedy wasn't very funny and neither was the 2006 sequel. Yet, they still felt the need to make another Van Wilder. The prequel, which went straight to DVD, takes audiences back to the college student's freshman year in order to display all the various unfunny Van Wilder hijinks.Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
Actors: Kristin Cavallari, Yvette Rachelle, Jonathan Bennett, Kurt Fuller, Linden Ashby, + more
Directed by: Harvey Glazer
Screenplay by: Todd McCullough
Genres (Film): Parody, Comedy
Sequel: Van Wilder
Netflix Format: DVD and streaming
Nine years after the original Dumb and Dumber (2003), we got the opportunity to see the origin of Lloyd and Harry's friendship. In case you're wondering, it was in high school, when the pair was deemed "special" by the school and placed in class together. While the original film certainly had its charm - and the comedic talents of both Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels - the prequel is simply not funny, and totally unnecessary.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10%
Actors: Shia LaBeouf, Rachel Nichols, Bob Saget, Mimi Rogers, Eugene Levy, + more
Directed by: Troy Miller
Screenplay by: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, Troy Miller, Bennett Yellin, Robert Brener
Genres (Film): Screwball comedy, Teen film, Slapstick, Comedy, Buddy film
Rated: PG-13 (USA)
Sequel: Dumb and Dumber
Has anyone even heard of this prequel? Seven years after the original Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Paul Newman and Robert Redford were replaced by Tom Berenger and William Katt. The prequel depicted the coming of age years for the young Western outlaws and the formation of the hole-in-the-wall gang. The film doesn't have much of a narrative and lacks the character and fun of the original.Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
Actors: Patrick Stewart, Christopher Lloyd, Tom Berenger, Brian Dennehy, Peter Weller, + more
Directed by: Richard Lester
Genres (Film): Western, Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Buddy film, Comedy Western
Rated: PG (USA)
Sequel: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Netflix Format: DVD
The original The Exorcist (1973) is considered one of the most iconic horror films ever made. The film has two sequels and then, interestingly enough, two versions of the prequel. Exorcist: The Beginning is the version that went wide in 2004. After a 30 year wait, audiences finally got to see the very first time the pesky demon Pazuzu and Father Merrin first duked it out in what looks like a cartoonish battle of good and evil.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 11%
Actors: Stellan Skarsgård, Izabella Scorupco, James D'Arcy, David Bradley, Alan Ford, + more
Directed by: Renny Harlin
Screenplay by: Caleb Carr, William Wisher, Jr., Alexi Hawley
Genres (Film): Horror, Cult film, Supernatural, Historical period drama, Psychological thriller
Tagline: A New Chapter of Evil
Rated: R (USA)
Sequel: The Exorcist
Netflix Format: DVD