Out of Marvel Studios’ ten films, five are origin stories (six, if you count Avengers, which is technically an origin of the team). In fact, most superhero films are origin stories, as the first film in a franchise is usually dedicated to showcasing how the titular character donned their cape, cowl, spandex, or armored suit (45 minutes in) and became the hero we went to the theater to see in the first place. There are a few exceptions, of course, like Tim Burton’s Batman, but by and large most superheroes are given an origin story to set the stage and lay the groundwork for the sequel.
According to Devin Faraci of Badass Digest though, Marvel is done making origin stories. When speaking on the Meet The Movie Press Podcast late last week, Faraci spoke specifically about Marvel’s upcoming Doctor Strange film, and broke the news that the film would not be an origin, but would instead show Stephen Strange as the titular Sorcerer Supreme right from the start:
“Doctor Strange, they had a script in house forever….It’s a pretty standard origin story for Doctor Strange, it’s gotta Baron von Mordo as the bad guy. That’s all gone. Marvel’s new thing is no more origin stories. So Doctor Strange’s movie no longer has an origin. It begins in media res, it’s got Doctor Strange all ready established as The Sorcerer Supreme. It’s a totally new script. Jon Spaiths is working totally new, on his own, without any of the previous stuff. They’re not even touching the previous script….This is not going to be 20 minutes of him as a doctor.”
Marvel Studios ditching the tried-and-true, cookie-cutter origin story format makes sense, especially as we get into Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only will we be getting more sequels from here on out (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America 3, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and Thor 3, to name a few), but the studio may want to start diversifying its formula from here on out. By all accounts, Ant-Man will be a unique mixture of origin and established story, as it shows the first Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) passing the torch to his protege, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). Is that a sign that Marvel is slowly edging away from traditional origins?
Possibly. With more characters still to introduce as the MCU goes forward (Ms. Marvel, The Inhumans, and Black Panther are all likely candidates), it may be difficult to stick to the “no origin” mentality. However, if given a similar approach that Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man is taking, perhaps it can be done. I guess it’s always possible that the structure of a film be changed to introduce the character while also diving headfirst into the current story, a la Batman Begins or Man of Steel.
What do you think of this news? Are you happy to hear that Doctor Strange, and possible future Marvel films, will no longer be origin stories? How would you like to see these characters introduced instead? Let us know in the comments section below.