Turning hits and blockbusters into sequels and bona fide franchises has been going on for nearly as long as movies have been churned out. In spite of the tendency for every modern film to think of the bigger picture and if it’s just a piece of something bigger, this mentality has been in overdrive as of late. Film now exists in a time where post-credit scenes aren’t a surprise, but practically the norm.
Sequels and connected universes aren’t going anywhere, but properties are also looking backwards in regards to how to expand their stories. Looking at how things all began and turning the clock back on unexpected figures can yield big results. Accordingly, Here Are 7 Prequels (And 12 Origin Stories) You Forgot Were Coming In 2020.
19 Prequel: The Many Saints Of Newark
HBO has all sorts of fresh prestige drama right now, but The Sopranos was one of the most important programs and helped establish them as a home for mature, groundbreaking television. David Chase's The Many Saints of Newark will attempt to look to the past of the series and serve as a prequel to the HBO show. It's a decision that initially had many people skeptical, but Chase's involvement and the cast assembled is encouraging.
18 Origin Stories: Grudge
The Grudge horror franchise has a lot more cache in Japan, but the spooky series still made a strong impression in America a decade back. The talented Nicolas Pesce of Eyes of My Mother fame is helming Grudge. While it's fair to look at this as a reboot of the series, it still will serve as an origin story that explains Kayako's curse.
17 Origin Stories: Candyman
The past few years have seen an amazing pivot by Jordan Peele from comedy master to horror icon. Some of Peele's latest efforts involve him bringing the iconic, but dormant, Candyman horror series back to life. Peele is hoping to give the series the respect it deserves and show just how scary this property can be when done right. Get ready for bees.
16 Prequel: Black Widow
Ever since Black Widow first showed up in Iron Man 2, fans have been ready to see the female Avenger lead her own solo film. This has been a surprisingly uphill battle, but it's finally happening. The Scarlett Johansson vehicle will take things back to Black Widow's formative years, as well as help her pass the baton forward to someone new. It looks to feature some of the most visceral hand-to-hand combat that the MCU has seen yet.
15 Origin Stories: Dune
In spite of its storied legacy and reputation among the sci-fi community, Frank Herbert's intricate Dune universe has never been an easy world to bring to life. Many have struggled with this property in the past, but Dennis Villeneuve may have finally cracked it. Dune has proven himself to be a box office success and he's bringing actors like Timothee Chalamet along for the ride. Villeneuve has gotten people to get excited over this niche project as he hopefully does it justice.
14 Origin Stories: Morbius: The Living Vampire
Sony's Morbius: The Living Vampire seems like quite the odd experiment for the studio after Venom’s success. However, after Spider-Man's recent exodus from the MCU, there's suddenly a lot riding on this movie as it may expressly affect Spider-Man's future. Jared Leto will portray the bloodsucking villain and show how he comes to be.
13 Prequel: McClane
Somehow the world is at the point of a sixth Die Hard film. Admittedly, John McClane's later cinematic efforts have left a lot to be desired, but audiences apparently still want more. McClane is purported to be a mix of the present and the past in order to show how John McClane came to be, even if that idea is entirely antithetical to his everyman status in the first film.
12 Origin Stories: Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn)
Suicide Squad may not have been everyone's cup of tea, but most people can agree that Margot Robbie's interpretation of Harley Quinn was one of the film's stronger features. Her performance was such a success that she's getting her own female-focused spin-off film. Bird of Prey won't stand as Harley's origin story, but it will for the rest of the figures in the film, as well as the Birds of Prey as a whole.
11 Origin Stories: The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle
It's a little surprising that Robert Downey Jr.'s first big role post Tony Stark and the Avengers will be Dr. Dolittle of all characters! Robert Downey Jr. has excelled by adding his unique touch to other iconic characters, like Sherlock Holmes, and this will be no different. This film will set out to chart the origins of the eccentric doctor and set the tone for this wild and adventurous world of animals. Except something less wacky than the Eddie Murphy pictures.
10 Origin Stories: The New Mutants
New Mutants is supposed to come out in 2020, but let's keep our fingers crossed on that one because it continues to look like this horror take on mutants and the X-Men franchise may never see the light of day. The worst thing about the New Mutants fiasco is that it's the victim of factors beyond its control, like the FOX and Disney merger along with the abysmal performance of Dark Phoenix. New Mutants has a great cast and looks to be doing something actually new in the genre, so hopefully we'll actually be able to see it.
9 Prequel: Minions: The Rise Of Gru
Even if you've never seen a Despicable Me film, it's hard to remain unaware of their infamous Minions. Those tiny yellow creatures have become international sensations that have surpassed the franchise they came from. The sequel to the solo Minions film is actually set before the rest of the series and looks at a young Gru and his initial relationship with the adorable guys.
8 Origin Stories: The Invisible Man
Universal Studios is having a very difficult time turning their classic movie monsters into a successful connected universe. Efforts like The Mummy didn't do much to impress, but maybe Leigh Whannel can break this trend with his update to the Invisible Man. Whannel has legitimate horror chops and Elisabeth Moss headlining the picture is also a good sign that this might work. Hopefully this fresh take on the character is what audiences have been waiting for.
7 Origin Stories: Bloodshot
You've got to hand it to Vin Diesel. The guy has an incredible knack for spinning his star power to revive old franchises he's been in, whether it's Riddick or XxX. Diesel brings in a crowd, which is clearly what the studio hopes will happen with Bloodshot. This is the actor's chance to headline a big comic book film. Bloodshot isn't the most popular series, so Diesel's take may be many people's introduction to the character.
6 Prequel: The King's Man
Matthew Vaughn probably didn't predict the Kingsmen series would be as popular as it is. The quirky action franchise has amassed sequels, spin-offs, and even television shows currently in development. Before the universe looks to the future though, the next entry will examine how the secret spy agency came to be in the first place. The King’s Man looks to be a more intimate story than the other films, but will no doubt retain the bonkers energy of the other entries.
5 Origin Stories: Green Lantern Corps.
It's kind of admirable that even after the major misfire of the DC Extended Universe, remnants of the Justice League film are still trying to rise to the surface and inspire new successes. Green Lantern Corps was very much a reaction to the old DCEU and with little traction on the project (along with Cyborg and The Flash), this cosmic superhero journey may just be a pipe dream. Regardless, it's still on the schedule and there's some push to make this happen.
4 Prequel: The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge
SpongeBob Squarepants is not only one of the most successful animated series to come out of Nickelodeon (where's the Rugrats Broadway musical, hm?), but they're now about to release their third feature film. Each Spongebob movie has taken a new creative approach to the subject matter and It’s A Wonderful Sponge plans to continue that trend. Here, audiences will get to learn how SpongeBob and Patrick became friends as well as centering around a cute camp aesthetic. Based on how things are going, this likely won't be the last that we see of that silly yellow sponge.
3 Origin Stories: Scoob!
The live-action Scooby Doo movies were a very satisfying translation of the animated series, but they've since left the public consciousness. Scooby Doo continues to turn out more bizarre animated efforts, but his presence in theaters has been diminished. Scoob! hopes to rectify this with a new computer-animated take on the property. Scoob! likely won't reinvent the wheel, but it is the introduction of these famous characters to a whole new generation and there will surely be a few changes present.
2 Prequel: Snake Eyes
The G.I. Joe live-action films did surprisingly well upon their release, surely banking on some of the popularity from their toy and cartoon counterparts. News has slowed on more cinematic G.I. Joe, but apparently people are still trying to make a prequel film that explores Snake Eyes backstory happen. Snake Eyes feels so niche that it just might actually happen, but the character isn't exactly someone that audiences have been dying to fill in the blanks on. Who knows what it may kick-start as a result!
1 Origin Stories: The Eternals
The Marvel Cinematic Universe had a very solid run all the way through Phase 4. So manyof their past films have banked on the history of the franchise, but Marvel's Eternals will be the beginning of something new. Marvel's assembled amazing talent to bring this cosmic team to life with the likes of Angelina Jolie and Kit Harrington involved. Here's hoping that they can make this team as popular as they did with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
These are all of the prequels and origin stories that are currently set to drop in 2020 that we could pull together. Which of the lot are you most excited over? Sound off in the comments below!
Sources: RottenTomatoes.com, IMDB.com, Wikipedia.org