9 Origin Movies That Actually Worked

Not everything suffers from Prequel Trilogy-itis...

Batman Begins
Warner Bros.

In today's comic book movie obsessed world, the idea of the origin story is almost a cliche. In fact, it's basically what we all just call character introductions these days, and it's got to the point where franchises like the MCU are now actively avoiding overdoing it. Hence Spider-Man: Homecoming didn't bother.

But the best origin movies are a slightly different breed. The ones that represent a greater challenge to film-makers focus on characters who were already introduced in other movies - so prequel origin stories, in other words. Those are a hell of a lot more tricky than superhero origin movies.

You have to take an existing character's personalities and behaviours and trace them back to the source, rather than creating a "big bang moment" for a new character. You have to use an existing framework that has established expectations already in the audience as well, crucially, as not completely demystifying cool characters.

Many have tried to do just that, with Darth Vader, Jason Vorhees, Han Solo, Alien's Xenomorphs and Wolverine all the subject of unsatisfying origins. And despite those failures, we have stories dedicated to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Willie Wonka, John McClane and the Joker all incoming. So why do they bother? Well, because SOME true origin movies have worked and offer a glimpse of what success can look like in that genre...

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Batman Begins
 
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Executive Editor
Executive Editor

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