WTF: The DC Extended Universe Is An Unofficial Name That Was Created As A Joke

Why so serious? Because we've all been duped for years, that's why.

When word came out earlier today about Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment's revamped take on their cinematic universe, you may have noticed that we didn't refer to it as the DC Extended Universe, or "DCEU," in our article. That's because we've discovered that we've all spent the past few years looking like fools: it turns out that term is an unofficial name that was literally made up by a reporter as a joke and was somehow adopted into mainstream usage by every outlet that writes about movies.

Abraham Riesman, the Vulture reporter who wrote the profile of DC Entertainment that we covered this morning, tweeted some surprising news regarding the so-called DC Extended Universe:

He says that no one at WB or DC knew how the term originated. So Riesman found the answer:

I did some digging and found the first usage: this EW article from July 1 2015 — Abraham Riesman (@abrahamjoseph) September 29, 2017

When he finally tracked down Keith Staskiewicz, the writer of that Entertainment Weekly article, he discovered that Staskiewicz "straight-up made it up as a joke."

So an EW writer slipped a trademark symbol into an article that happened to be about the nascent days of the company's larger plan, and the rest is history.

In Riesman's article, DC Entertainment COO Geoff Johns spoke a bit about some of the misinformation that's been reported about the company and their plans:

"Some of the stuff is true, some of it isn't true. When we talk about things or we're making deals for people to develop scripts or whatever, sometimes, things leak; sometimes, things are misreported, and it's frustrating. Because we do wanna go out there and talk about what our strategy is, and this stuff just muddies the water. There's a lot of internal conversations going on about, How do we help kind of clean that up a bit?"

One thing that might help, Mr. Johns? When an unofficial term like this started picking up steam, it would have been nice if someone at WB or DC could have stepped in early and corrected everyone or provided their own official term for their cinematic universe. The studio is expected to unveil the name of their side label – in which they'll make movies with absolutely no narrative connection to their other superhero movies, like that Joker origin film – soon, so maybe they can use that as an opportunity to clarify this chaos once and for all.