Superhero movies are big bucks these days, and since they have are all sourced by comic books, Marvel and DC plan to make a lot of money off of them with their respective Cinematic Universe. Next year will highlight two big blockbusters with Marvel's Captain America: Civil War and DC's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It is pretty clear that 2016 will be the year where superheroes are fighting superheroes, which might signal the end of the superhero movie trend.
The trailer for Captain America: Civil War is out as of last week, and it looks fairly decent. It also looks very familiar, for several reasons. If you are a fan of the comic books, then you know of the events of Civil War, a crossover event from Marvel. In the comics, the Civil War occurred when the government decided that all superheroes had to be registered, and there were certain rules that caused Iron Man and Captain America to take different sides. Iron Man was on the side of the government, who wanted heroes to formally register, while Captain America wanted to defend the rights of superheroes to be kept safe.
In the film's trailer, it looks like there is some new legislation going down, but it looks like Captain America is out to defend Bucky Barnes (aka The Winter Soldier) from...something. It really isn't clear, but it looks like the Captain has to fight against America to protect America, like he did in the last film the introduced us to the titular Winter Soldier.
Captain America: Civil War is set for a release date on May 6, 2016, and there is another reason why the trailer should look so familiar. In fact, the release date is about two months after Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice appears in theaters (its release date is March 25, 2016). It should be known that it looks like that the DC film has almost the exact same plot as Captain America: Civil War, from what is visible from the trailers.
The Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer also begins with some type of legislation, and it looks like it is directed at Superman, probably due to events that happened in Man of Steel with the utter devastation of Metropolis. Things get pretty hazy in the preview as events from Bruce Wayne's life are shown, and it looks like it all leads up to a climactic battle between Superman and Batman.
Like Civil War, the battle between Batman and Superman is inspired by comics, and it looks like most of the visual inspiration draws from Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. That story took place in a dark future where Batman came out of retirement in order to combat a new crime wave in Gotham, and Superman had become a powerful agent for the government. The two eventually go against each other in one of the greatest superhero clashes ever written.
It is pretty clear that 2016 seems to be giving us a lot of superhero clashes. Instead of heroes working together to fight villains, it looks like superheroes are fighting each other. It's pretty clear that the superhero story has been done many times in the past decade alone, and writers are forced to change up the traditional origin stories to keep people coming back for more superhero movies. The Cinematic Universes by both DC and Marvel are attempting to insure more profits, and DC stands to lose a lot if Batman v. Superman does not receive a good reception.
The issue of hero fighting hero has also been done to death in comic book settings. Readers can't resist seeing two big heroes go head-to-head, even if they are supposed to be on the same side. Generally, the formula is the heroes have some misunderstanding and fight each other, and then the realized that they are the good guys and team up to fight the real bad guy. The real bad guy is often the one who has manipulated the heroes to fight each other. The Civil War comic event was interesting to fans because there was no bad guy pulling the strings behind the fight, but it looks like the Batman v. Superman movie has Lex Luthor behind it all.
To really do a hero vs. hero story right, the characters and the relationship between them have to be very well-established. At this time, Iron Man and Captain America have shared very little time together on screen, so it isn't like a story of two best friends that have to face each other as enemies. In the comics, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers have been personal friends, and they hate the notion of fighting each other. This is what gives the story more drama and character elements.
The same can be said about the Batman vs. Superman conflict in the comic of The Dark Knight Returns. In that story, Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne had decades of history together, and it was difficult to suddenly be at odds, but they had to stick with their principles.
The movie versions of these characters in both films have not had time to establish a good relationship. The setup also appears weak just so audiences can see these heroes fight each other. This hero vs. hero would have been done years ago, and most people like seeing the good vs. evil dynamic of superheroes. In short, it feels like when heroes fight heroes, it is the ordinary people that lose.