More often, prequels will decide to shine the spotlight on a character who barely needs more that a footnote. In The Wizard Of Oz, the titular warlock is just a charismatic dude shouting from behind a curtain. You definitely don't need an entire prequel to show how he got that way. But "needs" are rarely a concern in Hollywood, and so we got Oz The Great And Powerful, a movie that by all means should've totally focused on the three witches Glinda, Evanora, and Theodora. In the original movie, they all seem either angry or super passive-aggressive with each other, which is a relationship that's begging for a proper setup instead of being the B-plot to a bumbling James Franco.
Then there's the constant urge to shoehorn in characters from the original who logically shouldn't be involved in anything yet. On paper, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them was a home run. The idea to focus on an eccentric wizard named Newt Scamander and his book about finding fantastic beasts was merchandising gold, and it gave us a chance to experience a new facet of the Wizarding World outside of Dumbledore and the gang. Well, until Young Dumbledore shows up with his archnemesis Grindlewald, ripping the spotlight from Newt and turning the franchise into Hollywood Expanded Universe Attempt #612.
Of course, the same thing happened with the three Hobbit films, forcing in Legolas and other elements that weren't in the book. The Star Wars prequel trilogy was also guilty of this, and in fact was guilty of every other item on this list. But those movies have been so thoroughly trashed at this point that it's almost not worth bringing up, other than to say that it's kind of weird that studios didn't seem to learn any lessons from them. Fortunately, Disney has mostly focused on making sequels instead, and Star Wars fans haven't had a single reason to complain since.
Mark Hofmeyer is the host of the Movies, Films and Flix podcast, which has been changing the world since 2015. Also, he writes a lot about Deep Blue Sea at the website Movies, Films and Flix.
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