Unofficial Prequels: Films That May Have Been Prequels but You Didn’t Know It

1 the dark knight fight club 

FIGHT CLUB is a prequel to the DARK KNIGHT: The theory is that the unnamed narrator (Edward Norton) of Fight Club goes on to become the Joker (Heath Ledger) in the Dark Knight. The evidence for this…The narrator of Fight Club is revealed to have a violent alternate personality who tries to create anarchy (His group was called Project Mayhem) by erasing debt by blowing up buildings that contain credit card companies’ records. Well, the Joker also liked to create anarchy by blowing up buildings. You may say that the nameless narrator freed himself of his violent Tyler Durden personality by shooting himself in the face. Well, I would argue that shooting yourself in the face will not improve your mental health; it’ll only get worse after that! And the gunshot to the cheek explains the scars on the Joker’s face, which he fabricates differing fictions to explain. When you consider that the narrator’s alternate Tyler personality has an affinity for explosives, has facial scars, likes anarchy and is violently wacko, it’s easy to see the similarities to the Joker in Dark Knight. The narrator with no name (and remember that we never hear the Joker’s real name, either) may think he was rid of his split personality at the end of Fight Club, but the theory is that the shock of what he did (blowing up buildings) and his new facial scars caused that submerged hostile Tyler personality to reemerge with a vengeance, and to take on a new identity as the Joker. There are other hints, such as the narrator’s troubled relationship with his father (the Joker also clearly had hostility towards his father), his ability to manipulate others to follow him (as the Joker also did) and his masochistic ability to take a beating and enjoy it (We’re told that the Joker is the kind of guy who enjoys a good beating. Detective Stephens says “I can tell the difference between punks who need a little lesson in manners, and the freaks like you who just enjoy it!”).  There are a lot of hints to back up this theory.


DJANGO UNCHAINED Could Be a SHAFT Prequel: At 2012 Comic-Con, Django Unchained (2012) director Quentin Tarantino talked about his movie’s connection to the film Shaft (1971). He says the connection can be found in the unusual name of Kerry Washington’s character, which was Brunhilda Von Shaft. Tarantino said ,”Her and Django will eventually have a baby, and then that baby will have a baby, and that baby will have a baby, and that baby will have a baby, and that baby will have a baby … and one of these days, John Shaft will be born!”


 Jet Li’s FEARLESS could be a prequel to Bruce Lee’s THE CHINESE CONNECTION:  Jet Li’s Fearless (2006) is a bio-pic based on the life of Huo Yuan-Jia, a Chinese martial artist who challenged foreign fighters in highly publicized events, restoring pride and nationalism to China during a period when they really needed a hero. It takes place in the early 1900s, after numerous defeats at the hands of Western nations and the Boxer Rebellion. Chinese morale suddenly got a boost by martial arts master Huo Yuan-jia, whose victories over Japanese and Western fighters made him a national hero. He also founded the Ching Woo Athletics Association. He died in 1910 under mysterious circumstances. The popular belief was that he had been poisoned by a Japanese doctor, although this has never been proven. The Chinese Connection (1972) is more loosely based on the aftermath of these true events. Bruce Lee’s character is based on one of Huo’s real-life students named Li Shen-zheng (The character appears in the final scenes of Fearless). The movie opens with Chen Zhen (Lee) returning to Shanghai after an absence just in time for Huo’s funeral. Chen goes berserk with sorrow and grief, and swears to avenge his teacher.

 1 maskedmentime

 THE LONE RANGER could be a prequel to the GREEN HORNET: The idea of a Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet connection goes back to the 1930s. Britt Reid (the Green Hornet) had been established by the writers as being a descendant of The Lone Ranger (his great grand-uncle whose name was John Reid.)  This began with the promotional material for the debut of the Green Hornet when it first aired on radio in 1936. (The Lone Ranger radio show had debuted a few years earlier and they wanted to make a connection to bring in crossover listeners.) Apparently, according to the promo material, the source of Britt Reid’s fortune came from the silver mine of the Lone Ranger. Britt’s crime fighting career is therefore inspired by his famous wild-west ancestor. While none of the subsequent film or TV versions of the characters has mentioned this link, there’s nothing to discredit it either, and they still retain the same surname.


 CLOVERFIELD could be a prequel to PACIFIC RIM: The theory is that the Cloverfield incident was actually the human race’s first-ever Kaiju encounter, having emerged from an earlier ‘test’ rift in the Atlantic. The Cloverfield creature was a category 1 kaiju, which managed to breach this proto-interdimensional rift in the Atlantic. At the ending of Cloverfield, the army nukes NY to kill the monster, and they think the problem is gone, but few years later, bigger interdimensional rifts start appearing (and disappearing) across the Pacific, allowing even larger and stronger Kaijus to come through into our world, leading to the implementation of the Jaeger Program.

The possible flaw in this theory: We’re told in Pacific Rim that the first Kaiju attack took place in San Francisco, when the Golden Gate Bridge was destroyed.

 Possible explanation: It’s hard to get around this one; but one feasible explanation is that the narration which talks about the first Kaiju attack was specific only to the ‘war in the Pacific’. If you think in terms of WW2, it was divided into the War in the Pacific and the War in the Atlantic. But when the war in the Atlantic/Europe ended after Germany surrendered (VE Day was celebrated), the war in the Pacific still went on. So, by the point in the cinematic timeline when Pacific Rim begins, the brief ‘War in the Atlantic’ (the Cloverfield attack) was long over, so the narrative we hear early in the movie relates only to the events in the Pacific region. If you asked a WW2 officer back in the 1940s how the war in the Pacific began, he’d say “Pearl Harbor”, not the invasion of Poland, which was the official first salvo of WW2, but was in the Atlantic; therefore, it was a different front. (It’s a bit of a stretch, yeah.)


So there you have it; 5 instances of films that may or may not be looked upon as prequels, depending on your point of view. If you do accept them as prequels, they add an extra dimension to films that are already entertaining and interesting on their own.


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