Sony's Marvel Movie Franchise Now Has A Less-Clunky Name

Nothing gets the internet going the way that a rebranding does. Warner Bros. first became stuck with the now-ubiquitous "DCEU" moniker (which stands for the DC Extended Universe) largely because a writer first used it as a joke and, in the absence of any other official title, everyone picked up on it as a catchy shorthand. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, on the other hand, has remained the official title more or less from the start. Absolutely no brand confusion there ... not even with Sony attempting to wedge their foot in the door and capitalize on the Marvel characters under their exclusive control. 

Sony, of course, first decided to go with "Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters" to help clarify the complicated rights situation and ensure audiences don't walk into "Venom" with the assumption that the post credits scene will feature, I don't know, Nick Fury recruiting him to the Dark Avengers or something. But believe it or not, "SPUMC" never really caught on to the mainstream and now Sony's returned to the drawing board with a much-improved title.

Sony's Spider-Man Universe

In its place, Screen Rant reports that we now have "Sony's Spider-Man Universe." 2018's "Venom" is currently the only movie to fall under this designation, though it will soon be joined by the sequel, "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," and "Morbius," starring Jared Leto as the scientist-turned-vampire. That's right: The "SPUMC" is no more. The king is dead. Long live the king.

As you might imagine, the timing of this particular rebranding effort is likely no coincidence.

This news comes down from CinemaCon, the event held for theater-owners that Sony used to boost awareness for their upcoming films such as "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home." Despite "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" screening for attendees and drawing positive reactions, the "No Way Home" trailer and the resulting online frenzy proved to be the biggest news-maker of the event. In that light, it makes quite a lot of sense (both logically and business-wise) that Sony would want to begin tying together their fledgling universe of Spidey-adjacent characters into one that boasts strong ties to the flagship hero who currently calls the MCU home.

In fact, that effort seems to have already begun. If you remember, the previously released "Morbius" trailer went out of its way to reference both Spider-Man himself (though the actual outfit, which just so happens to be from the Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire trilogy, likely remains a placeholder) as well as Michael Keaton's Vulture, who starred in "Spider-Man: Homecoming." There may even be more crossover potential, if "Morbius" director Daniel Espinosa is to be believed. In prior interviews, "Venom" actor Tom Hardy has also maintained his willingness to someday square off against Tom Holland's Peter Parker. With Sony having already struck an unprecedented deal with Marvel Studios to share the rights for Spider-Man and allow him to join the MCU, it's not quite as far-fetched an idea as it might have sounded in the past.

In any case, "Sony's Spider-Man Universe" rolls off the tongue and points toward their future plans concerning the famous web-crawler. That's a win-win when it comes to rebranding. Now we have to wait and see whether fans will start casually referring to the "SSU" anytime soon.