Wrong Turn got one. The Lost Boys and Smokin' Aces got one. Hell, American Pie spits one out every Tuesday: a direct-to-video sequel. Every time we talk about one of these movies, I feel I must defend the release strategy, but this time I'll skip the schpiel and get right to it: if you liked the Paul W.S. Anderson Death Race flick from not too long ago, Universal Home Video has some good news for you. Principal photography has already begun in South Africa on Death Race 2.

According to a recent press release, the flick will be a prequel starring the likes of Luke Goss, Ving Rhames, Sean Bean, and Danny Trejo. Nope, no Jason Statham, but we are promised "even more outrageously outfitted muscle cars and death-defying stunts in a deadly driving competition." Mr. Anderson will stick around as story contributor and executive producer, as he often does on the Resident Evil flicks, but the prequel screenplay will come from Tony Giglio (Timber Falls), and the director will be Roel Reine, whom you may remember from The Marine 2. (I said "may.")

Say what you will about prequel this and low-budget video flicks that, but Luke Goss was pretty damn cool in Hellboy 2, and I always enjoy seeing Sean Bean in an action flick. I'll include the press release's plot synopsis after the jump, but the basic gist of Death Race 2 seems to be the backstory of the prison races and the early career of the "Frankenstein" speed demon. Sounds like a solid enough way to spend 90-some minutes, but then I seem to be a sucker for P.W.S. Anderson's patented brand of techno-lunacy.
Official plot synopsis:

"Death Race 2 takes place in the very near future, as the United States economy begins to decline and violent crime starts to spiral out of control. To contain the growing criminal population, a vast network of for-profit, private prisons springs up, creating a lawless subculture ruled by gangs, cold-blooded killers and sociopaths. The worst of these prisons is Terminal Island. Convicted cop-killer Carl Lucas arrives on the Island to serve his life sentence just as ruthlessly ambitious television personality September Jones launches the ultimate reality show, Death Race. A brutal prison yard demolition derby that pits prisoners against each other in steel reinforced, heavily armed vehicles, Death Race offers the winner the ultimate prize: freedom - if he can survive to enjoy it. When Lucas signs up to be a driver, the stage is set for the birth of a legendary racer."

...oh, and I bet you a free Redbox rental they change the title. A prequel pretty much has to be called Death Race: The Beginning or Death Race: Start Your Engines, right?