If it weren't already enough with the Dark Side, the Dark One, and Donnie Darko, Universal had to go and add another "Dark" into the movieverse just to confuse us. We are of course talking about the studio's attempts to drag horror back to its early days and bring back black and white staples like Frankenstein's Monster, Wolfman, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Given the look of Tom Cruise's latest romp into the action genre in this year's The Mummy, the franchise could already be unravelling. However, away from the presumed reviews of a blockbuster flop, things could be set to get a lot worse for Universal's monster mash-up.
When asking "What's in a name?", well, if you are a big movie studio, apparently quite a lot. The Mummy is set to be just the start of the Dark Universe, followed by Bride of Frankenstein in 2019 and unscheduled entities like The Invisible Man and Van Helsing (again). The Hollywood Reporter confirms that DC and Warner Bros. are not particularly happy with Universal's coining of the Dark Universe, seeing it as suspiciously close to their own Dark Universe — keeping up?
Not only does DC have its own Dark Universe in development — a film focusing on the Justice League Dark — but there is also a Dark Universe #comicbook line on its way too. In case you don't want to get your Creature from the Black Lagoon mixed up with your Swamp Thing, it is clear that someone will have to budge. We're looking at you, Universal. Although no legal paperwork has been filed, Warner Bros. is apparently "mulling" over a case, which will almost certainly go to court at this rate.
As early as 2013 and under the ruling of Guillermo del Toro, Dark Universe was the working title for the Justice League Dark movie. While the live-action film will chart the escapades of John Constantine, Zatanna, the Spectre, Deadman and more, we have already seen the Justice League Dark in animated form thanks to this year's DCAU feature of the same name.
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Sure, one Dark Universe may be about a bunch of supernatural foes and the other a bunch of superpowered foes, and they will both be heading for very different audiences, but you can't blame W.B. for being a little pissed!
If Pepsi went and launched a bunch of new flavors under the umbrella of the Cokeverse, just imagine the uproar. Elsewhere, if DC started calling its heroes mutants and crafted a Mutant Universe, do you not think Fox and Marvel would have something to say about the X-Men?
What we aren't seeing though are the positives. Universal's move could actually be a blessing in disguise for DC. Fans have called for the #DCEU's Dark Universe to just be called Justice League Dark and reel in the already established fans of Batman and co., however, bear in mind that it was called Dark Universe for a specific reason. That being said, with director Doug Liman recently leaving the project, now could be the perfect time for a renaming and the chance to start again.
Either way, Universal can recruit all the zombie brides and crossbow-toting vampire hunters it wants, but there is nowhere to "Hyde" from the extending reach of the #DCEU. Universal would be foolish to try and go up against the #superhero powerhouse, but you can't blame them for wanting to craft their own extended universe; I mean, look how well Marvel and DC are doing in the box office stakes at the moment. Personally though, I just don't see this one working. Remember The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? That should be enough to put anyone off the idea!
Check out the trailer for the Justice League Dark animated movie and don't forget our poll below!
Should Warner Bros. sue Universal over 'Dark Universe'?
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)