Superhero movies. They sure do make a lot of money. In just 2014 alone, three out of the five top-grossing films have been superhero movies. That represents what's becoming a growing trend since Iron Man debuted in 2008.
But that could be the highest height we witness. Cape-and-tights flicks could topple like a Jenga tower at any moment. Even the most avid fans eventually get bored with the status quo.
Which is why there's been a rumor going around that the status is about to be un-quo'd. Specifically, word on the street is that, beginning with Doctor Strange, Marvel is going to cut out one of the staples of superhero movie-making -- origin stories.
And, as ideas go, that's a pretty good one.
For one thing, we've been getting nothing but origin stories first for quite a while now. And though that may have been necessary at first, moviegoers have adapted to the world of comic-book superheroing. This is no longer their first rodeo. On top of that, some heroes are so entrenched in the popular zeitgeist that virtually everyone on Earth already knows their deal. Batman, Superman, Spider-Man -- none of these dudes needs his origin story retold, because nearly everybody already knows them.
Plus, origins are often not that complicated -- Superman is the last survivor of an alien world, Batman's parents are dead so now he fights crime, Spider-Man got bit by a spider and then his uncle died.
We get it. Death. Powers. Responsibility. Basically, if you can explain it with an animated opening credits sequence, you don't need to make your whole first movie an origin tale.
But Doctor Strange (along with many of the other heroes rumored to be getting their own movies) is different, right? Most people have never heard the name Stephen Strange. So why is he rumored to be the first Marvel hero to forgo the "and now I've got these wacky powers" story?
I've got a few idea about that, but I'm gonna do you one better than talking about Doctor Strange -- let's go over seven of the comic-book movies that either are or are rumored to be coming out in the next five or six years. Five superheroes who don't need an origin story (and two who do). Ready? Here we go!