Gone with the Wind
Why It Doesn’t Need a Prequel: Both on the page and on the screen, the narrative arc of this epic Civil War-era romance relies on using the fall of the South to depict the gradual rise of Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara’s self-reliance. A pre-Civil War prequel would just be a celebration of really old-fashioned Southern values, one that would make Django Unchained look practically PC. (Besides, we’ve already seen what happened when they tried to sequelize GTTW and no one wants to go through that again.)
But If They Made One, Here’s How to Do It: Shift the focus from the O’Hara clan to Mammy (played by Quvenzhané Wallis as a child and Octavia Spencer as an adult), recounting the tale of how she came to be forcibly employed at Tara and the challenges she experienced as she “diapered three generations of this family’s girls” including, eventually, little Scarlett herself. This would give audiences the chance to experience the shameful history of the American slave trade through one character’s eyes and flesh out a role that’s largely a walking stereotype in the original movie. (Novelist Alice Randall attempted something similar with her controversial — and unofficial — prequel, The Wind Done Gone, although that book ran concurrently with GTTW and was told from the perspective of another Mammy’s illegitimate mulatto daughter.)
Gone with the Wind
Oz: The Great and Powerful (March 8)
Starring: Mila Kunis, James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Abigail Spencer, Zach Braff
Directed By: Sam Raimi
For the Kids: Flying monkeys. Witches. The Emerald City. All the things that we’ve known and loved about the original Wizard of Oz brought to life in this prequel, of sorts, when the Wizard lands in Oz and tries to stop the Wicked Witch of the West. Fair warning, the trailers are a little on the scary side, so younger kids (or grown adults who are still freaked out by the whole “I’ll get you my pretty” thing) might want to cover their eyes or stay at home.
For the Adults: Well, we’ve been hoping for Wicked to be brought to the screen, but this is a good placeholder in the meantime. James Franco as the Wizard seems to oddly work and the cast is filled with a lot of people we really like. We’ve got major high hopes for this one, and not just so we can sing “We’re off to see the Wizard” when we buy our tickets on Fandango.
Read more: Winter Preview 2013: Kids and Teens