Last month, Universal officially announced Dark Universe, a franchise built on modern retellings of classic monster stories. The first film in Universal's new world of gods and monsters is this year's #TheMummy, starring #TomCruise and #SofiaBoutella. The Bride Of Frankenstein will follow in 2019. The overall Dark Universe project is ambitious, and with its stellar cast it's safe to say Universal is expecting this to develop into a Fast and Furious-size venture.
What #Universal may have not been expecting out of this new franchise is a lawsuit from another studio. The Hollywood Reporter reports that, according to sources close to Warner Bros., the studio is looking to sue Universal over the "Dark Universe" label.
Warner Bros. has been developing a live-action adaptation of Justice League Dark, featuring John Constantine, Swamp Thing and Deadman. Recently, however, in order to avoid confusion with this year's superhero epic, Justice League –– which is expected to become a franchise of its own –– the studio rebranded JLD as Dark Universe.
This situation could be a long-term problem for the would-be superhero franchise. Universal's Dark Universe is expected to continue for years, and the studio will be placing the logo front of every installment in the franchise. You and I may be aware of what goes on with each respective cinematic universe, but there could still be cause for confusion between Universal and WB's efforts.
Ultimately, regardless of similarities to Universal's franchise, Warner Bros. could benefit from moving away from the Dark Universe title. The entire Justice League Dark property is already obscure for general audiences. A title as general as "Dark Universe" lacks the marketing appeal that unknown comic book characters need.
It's very different from say, Wonder Woman or Batman. People will see those movies regardless of the marketing because of the brand recognition. That's something that DC's Dark Universe needs to build if it wants to compete with other franchises. While it's unclear right now whether the studio has a case, Universal revealed the title for its monster universe months after Warner Bros. did for its superhero film, so that could mean trouble for Universal.
These are unconfirmed reports, so we should take the information with a grain of salt. While we wait to see how the story develops, we have one monster movie to look forward to, as The Mummy hits theaters on June 9, 2017.
Do you think Warner Bros. will end up suing Universal? Let me know in the comments!
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]