The Dark Universe Saga Takes a Dark, Potentially Litigious Turn

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Well, it looks like somebody jumped the gun on this whole Dark Universe thing. It’s been barely a week since Universal Studios released an intriguing new trailer announcing the new name for their monster cinematic universe. Think of it as a old-timey monster equivalent to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not everybody was happy with the new name however, and it’s looking like Universal may get sued.

You see, Warner Bros. has had a long-gestating movie also called Dark Universe that ties into their DC cinematic universe, because at this point, every third movie released is a part of some thinly plotted multiverse. Lego? Jump Street/Men in Black?! Yep, all trying to cash in on Marvel’s success with the same massive world-building model.

Warner Bros.’ Dark Universe film is supposed to be something of a Justice League with anti-heroes. (Just don’t call it Suicide Squad 2 because those are actual villains, you plebeian. Try to keep up.) Deadman, John Constantine and Swamp Thing were all confirmed for the project. They’ve already released a similar animated film called Justice League Dark, but obviously that doesn’t count in their live-action universe. Warner Bros. is apparently still deciding between naming the forthcoming film Dark Universe and Justice League Dark, and may just decide to sue Universal in case they can’t make up their minds. God bless America.

The Justice League Dark—or whatever the hell its called—movie is mildly expected to release in or before 2020, but it’s been having problems. It has already lost Guillermo Del Toro and Doug Liman, and there have been no real reports about progress on the film recently. Michael Gilio (Kwik Stop) is apparently still writing the movie, just in case.

Universal was expected to kick off their new series beginning in the next couple weeks with Tom Cruise’s The Mummy reboot. That will be followed by The Bride of Frankenstein in 2019. The announcement also confirmed that Johnny Depp is playing the Invisible Man, while Javier Bardem will once again dons crazy makeup to portray Frankenstein’s monster. As of now, there doesn’t appear to be any attempts to change the name, but lawsuits have a funny way of making people change their minds.

Maybe we can include this saga in our cinematic universe cinematic universe. It’s a cinematic universe about all the cinematic universes. It’s going to be groundbreaking.

To see the Dark Universe trailer that may soon be removed by court order, click here.

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