In 2015, we would be 15 years of a consistent cycle of superhero movies in theaters. Every since Twentieth Century Fox released the first X-Men movies, many other movie studios were racing to put out more superhero and comic book movies in theaters. We've seen the genre rise, fall, and evolve into mainstream entertainment. Over the next six years, we're going to see over 40 new superhero movies released in theaters, including Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267), and Sinister Six. With new franchises introduced to general audiences, do we still need origin stories for new characters and superheroes?
Guardians of the Galaxy is a perfect example of how origins stories in superhero movies almost bog down the film's narrative and pace. The newest Marvel movie didn't have a traditional origin story, although it shows how the team came together, but rather gave audiences bits and pieces of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon's back story as a way to propel the film's story and action. The film's screenwriters - James Gunn and Nicole Perlman - gave audiences enough information about its characters to justify their actions. We never saw Drax's murdered family, or the terrible experiments performed on Rocket, or Gamora's iffy family, but we still understood why they were doing what they're doing.
The same thing could almost be said about the upcoming [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870). While I have no idea what the new superhero movie will be about, I can assure you that it will not feature Batman's origin story. After Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, audiences don't need a re-hash of the death of Bruce Wayne's parents. We already understand how Bruce Wayne became Batman.
It's one of the reasons why [The Amazing Spider-Man](movie:45497) film franchise received a lukewarm reception when it was released in 2012. Only five years after Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies, the reboot's filmmakers felt the need to show audiences how Peter Parker became Spider-Man. We saw a radioactive spider bite nerdy and awkward Peter Parker - giving him super powers. We even saw the death of Uncle Ben (again), showing why "With great power, comes great responsibility." Didn't we see this movie before 10 years ago? While Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man movie shows Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man in the film's first 15 minutes, the new Amazing Spider-Man reboot showed the same events (more or less) in the film's first 45 minutes. We spent almost the first hour of the movie showing us what we already saw years ago.
The James Bond film franchise is another example of how we don't need origin stories anymore. In the first film in the series released in 1962, Dr. No, James Bond is already an international playboy superspy and every film after that just puts Agent 007 in a new adventure with new villains, Bond girls, gadgets, and storylines. In fact, EON Productions didn't feel a need to do an origins story until 2006 with the release of Casino Royale . That's 21 movies and 44 years into the film franchise. 21 movies!
While on the Meet the Movie Press podcast, Badass Digest's Devin Faraci revealed that the new Doctor Strange movie from Marvel Studios will not be an origins story movie. At the time of the film's would-be release in 2016, Marvel will firmly be in its Phase Three, after Ant-Man and [Captain America 3](movie:994409). That's eight years after the first film in the franchise, Iron Man in 2008. According to Faraci, the new movie will begin with Dr. Stephen Strange already in the position of the Sorcerer Supreme and ready for action. I'm sure we'll see glimpses of Doctor Strange's beginnings - brilliant surgeon (check), terrible car accident (check), spends all of his wealth to regain the use of his hands (check), goes on a quest in magic to become Doctor Strange (check check). There's no way the movie will end with Dr. Stephen Strange saying, "I am Doctor Strange."
At this point in movie-going, audiences can accept that superheroes exists in movies and move on from there. No need for handholding, if general audiences can get on board with a weird superhero movie like [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073), then will mostly get on board with almost anything. Besides, it would get pretty boring and tedious if over the next six years, a majority of those 40 new superheroes coming up have the same structure and template. It's time for superhero and comic book movies to evolve again into a more mature genre. Today's movie-going audiences are smart enough to fill-in-the-blanks with a superhero's mythology.