Baby Jaws? Scar Face the Lion? The origin stories we’d like to see

Nobody is ever really evil any more. The entertainment world has been working overtime filling in villain backstories lately, providing excuses and rationales for everyone from Joker to Maleficent, Hannibal to Nurse Ratched. Next up we have Disney’s Cruella, explaining what turned the 101 Dalmatians vamp from promising fashion designer to puppy-skinning wrong-un. What’s left when even a mass pet-killer is worthy of rehabilitation? Well, if you’re listening, Hollywood, here are a few ideas …

Jeff, as he was known back then, is the handsomest, most popular lion on the savannah. He is a gifted wildlife artist, and a vegetarian. Jeff’s prayers are answered when a comely lioness asks him to paint her portrait, but his brother Mufasa gets jealous and sends round the baboon mafia to mess him up. The disfigured Jeff falls into a radioactive waterhole, which turns him evil.

An innocent young shark pup growing up in Cape Cod is devastated when its mummy goes missing. Then daddy shark disappears. Then grandma shark. Then grandpa shark. A serial killer is hunting down Jaws’s family. Accompanied by a wisecracking halibut and a stoner squid, our hero sets off to find the culprit. They fail, so decide to eat everyone instead.

A small-town xenomorph who dreams of bigger things elopes with a charming travelling salesmorph (or so he says). But after becoming pregnant, she catches him hugging the face of another. This resourceful single mother vows her several hundred children will never go hungry.

We all know what turned Norman Bates into Psycho. And thanks to Bates Motel, we kind of know what turned Mother into Mother as well. But what about her mother? Turns out she was a nightmare, too. And her mother before that. In fact, as successive prequels reveal, the cursed Bates line extends all the way back to seventh-century Northumbria.

Not a Disney movie (though if you buy a ticket thinking it is, that’s fine), but the tale of a happy little iceberg in the Arctic. On Christmas Eve, 1911, it is cruelly separated from the family ice shelf by a crashed conservation ship. As it drifts alone across the north Atlantic for four months, its innocence hardens into resolve. It plots revenge against all shipkind.





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