The Green Lantern movie trailer has hit the net finally, a year and a half after we found out about Ryan Reynolds playing the emerald space cop and still over half a year until it comes out. I still hold onto my optimism on the generally comical Reynolds playing the traditionally tight-assed Hal Jordan, but the trailer isn’t helping. Neither is the suit where someone wants to show off their fancy CGI with.
But all that is beside my point. This trailer shows the movie to be just what it is – an origin story. Comic book fans and general movie goers alike have had to sit through origin after origin of their favorite heroes on the silver screen, waiting for the movie to get it out of the way so we could get to the meat of the story. It seems every time a new superhero property is adapted to film, its origin must be plainly told for an entire movie.
I’ve heard several suggestions on how to tell an origin story without it being the whole movie. It could be recapped in the opening credits. It could be told through short flashbacks (as The Incredible Hulk successfully did). While watching the trailer, I came up with an idea that kills two birds with one stone.
Let the trailer be the only place that tells the origin story.
Most comic book hero origins are actually pretty simple to explain, even within the time of 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The origin story can be the trailer that gets people interested in the real meat of the actual character story in the movie, getting it out of the way so the movie can focus on developing the characters instead of establishing them.
In addition to that, this idea would take care of my problem with trailers occasionally (read: almost always) showing way too much. Given, this really only matters in these large fandom-type films that get the geek crowd going.
Technically they would be more like an extended teaser or mini feature, but that’s semantics. The bottom line is that every first superhero movie (or reboot) does not have to be an origin story that we already know. Given, this is less true for lesser known heroes (as Iron Man even used to be), but heroes like Spider-Man and Superman do not need their origins to be re-explained to the movie-going audience.
So, what do you think? Make completely trailer-original footage to get the backstory out of the way? Stick to the first movie origin? Or something else?