I will admit, I don't get out very much to see movies. I hope to some day, but right now I read reviews and formulate blog posts on my opinions of movies I haven't seen.
For the second or third year in a row, there are tons of superhero movies coming out. Probably because they make money, and surprisingly, many are quite good. The latest is the X-Men, and I think they actually called it Origins, and it's coming out to great reviews.
As did Thor, another movie that got great reviews and one I actually saw.
Two more coming out are Green Lantern and Captain America. But these movies all have one thing in common. They are basically the story of how these people grew into becoming superheroes. In the simplest form, they all boil down to how they discovered their powers and how they learned to harness them and overcome the internal issue that really stopped them from being a hero. It's basically a character arc story.
Thor definitely was, with the hero learning humility and true heroism in the loss, and then regaining of his powers.
going back a few summers, so was Iron Man, basically a man learning to be heroic, as was another great superhero movie, the new Batman, with Christian Bale.
There's a lot of room for drama and depth in an origin story, but if the second Iron man taught us anything, it's that, what do you do in movies 2, 3 and so on. Once a man is a hero, how do you create another compelling movie, when he's already grown, developed, is already a hero?
The only movie that has solved that issue is the Dark Knight, but that movie was as much about the villains as it was the hero and what it did was take two face and explain how he went from good guy to villain, so it did the whole origin story backwards.
It applies a lot in YA as well. With a lot of books developed as a series of three books, how do you take a completed arc in book 1 and continue to make the story interesting? I like how Carrie Ryan did it, by changing her protagonist in each book of the Forest of Hands and Teeth series.
Others I can think of were less successful. I loved the Maze Runner, but found the Scorch Trials less successful, because the hero had already developed the traits that made him a hero and so it felt repetitious.
I go back and forth, but sometimes I think it's better to develop a stand alone book, then try and create a series. Not sure publishers agree from a sales perspective, but how do you keep the second and third in a series fresh and exciting?