It’s very interesting and complicated question. The answer to which is neither yes or no, rather it depends on the character. There’s a report going around that Marvel Studios is beginning to step away from their solo character films being about their origins. Of course, Marvel Studios will neither confirm or deny this report. But should it be true, it’s a bold step for Marvel, one that may or may not work depending on the strength of the character film’s script.
Some of the best Comic Book movies in my opinion, are the ones that required a majority of the film to be the character’s origin telling. Iron Man showed us Tony Stark prior to becoming Iron Man. We all saw how he treated people, including his friends. He was careless and very egotistical. Him being held hostage, seeing his created weapons in the hands of terrorists, and befriending a stranger who saved his life was all a life changing experience. This was a character who most audiences didn’t know at the time, and it was a story that was executed perfectly.
Batman Begins was another great example of a character who’s origins required a retelling. We all know how terrible Batman & Robin was, at least to anyone who wasn’t a kid at the time. Director Christopher Nolan, reintroduced us to the character in a much different storytelling. The Nolan films were completely different from Tim Burton’s or Joel Schumaker’s version, and Batman Begins was an excellent start for the trilogy.
Then you have Man of Steel, which was probably the most ambitious origin film for a popular superhero character ever. It was a much different take from Director Zack Snyder, with it’s dark and serious tone, than compared to Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns. Warner Bros had every intention of kicking off their cinematic universe and wanted Man of Steel to set the tone, I had no problem with a reintroduction.
Of course, not every character needs a reintroduction. The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton is one I find much better of a film than most people would admit. The opening credits for that movie pretty much retold what Ang Lee’s Hulk film spent the whole film telling. To be honest, I was kind of bored watching Lee’s Hulk film.
The Amazing Spider-Man didn’t really need a retelling of Peter Parker’s origins. Not when we were a few years removed from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films. The reboot did offer a look into what happened to Peter’s parents, but poorly executed that in finally explaining it in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
A more recent film, Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t feature much of an origin story for any of the characters. Sure, we were shown Peter Quill’s tragic beginning , but throughout the film it was just watching the Guardians recall their experiences. The success of that film shows that you don’t need an origin for every superhero film.
In conclusion, if you are gonna do an origin story tell it right and keep the film balanced. Don’t tell a story that we already know, which I’m thankful Batman V Superman is doing with the Batman character and possibly Wonder Woman. I want origin stories for complex characters. The upcoming Marvel’s Doctor Strange needs an origin story. As similar of a character to Tony Stark that Strange was in the beginning, his journey toward becoming the Sorcerer Supreme involves characters who impact his later stories.
What do you think Movie Talkers? Does every Comic Book film that introduces a new character need an origin story?