Has it happened? Have we exhausted the genre? Is it time to stop making superhero movies? Let's take a closer look at the Green Lantern trailer and its similarities to every other superhero movie.
Origin Story (See Iron Man)
The very first time we see Hal Jordan, he's in bed with a random blonde with whom he just had awesome, anonymous, beautiful-people sex. He immediately hops out of bed, abandoning her in favor of heading out to work.
This establishes Jordan as a freewheeling playboy, someone who is good with women but has to sprint to work in the morning because he forgot to set his alarm. A reckless guy with flexible morals. This is done to establish that Hal -- a cocky, immature, possible womanizer -- is the last person you'd expect to be a superhero. It would be a nice set up, if it wasn't already exactly done in Iron Man.
It's not too clear, but trust me when I tell you that it's a screenshot from Iron Man that shows Tony in bed with a random blonde that he just met (the reporter from Brown). It's one of the first scenes of the film and establishes Tony has a cocky seducer. And, of course, in the morning, Tony abruptly leaves for work, abandoning the woman, just like Hal. It should be pointed out that the Jordan character from the comics isn't some kind of playboy -- he's a space cop. The creators of this movie had to consciously decide that they wanted to intentionally make their character more like Tony Stark, and then consciously decide that they wanted to establish his characteristics by behaving the same way Tony Stark does. That no one stood up in the brainstorming meeting and said, "Hey, wait, they did this movie already," is mind-boggling.
If that's not enough, in the Green Lantern trailer, after Jordan leaves, we see his blonde looking dumbfounded, and wordlessly staring straight ahead wearing nothing but a sheet.
Nice. But where have I seen that before?
Oh, right, it happened in Iron Man after Tony's abrupt departure. Both movies use the same action to establish that their protagonists are bed-hopping man-boys, and they top it all off with the exact same image.
Superpowers (See Superman: The Movie)
We see a few seconds of Hal's pre-Lantern life in the trailer. He drives fast cars, he's a stunt pilot doing things that are important, he dreams big and is stunningly pretty, like a woman.
He's just ... beautiful.
Then, of course, everything changes due to some bizarre accident. Now, if I was going to attack one comic for utilizing the tired, overused "hero gets powers through ridiculous space/science-related accident," I'd have to attack all of them, and I don't want to do that because I don't want Spider-Man to be mad at me. I can, however, focus specifically on how Hal's powers show up in the film. Hal is off somewhere in the middle of nowhere, he stares into the distance at a bright light and then immediately travels to the source of the light to find a flaming crater, in which sits a strange creature with amazing abilities. Let's take a look at this beat by beat, but let's do it while also looking at the trailer for Superman: The Movie.
Superman is one of the most famous superheroes of all time. At no point in your movie-making process did you ever stop and think, Hey, we should make sure this isn't exactly like a popular superhero movie that already exists?