The term “DC Extended Universe” has become an umbrella term for Warner Bros.’ slate of DC Comics-based films, but apparently no one at the studio uses that name. In fact, it originated as a joke.
Vulture’s Abraham Riesman made the discovery while working on an article about the success of Wonder Woman and the future of DC Entertainment’s cinematic universe. During his research, the writer learned that “DC Extended Universe” isn’t an official term.
Early on in my reporting, officials at WB/DC told me no one uses the term “DC Extended Universe” internally and that it’s not official
— Abraham Riesman (@abrahamjoseph) September 29, 2017
Riesman tracked down the first use of the term to an Entertainment Weekly article in July 2015. Writer Keith Staskiewicz told him that he created the phrase as a joke: “It was my own phrasing when I used it in the story. Just seemed like the kind of thing they’d call it!”
“DC Extended Universe” has become the widely used term for the shared movie universe that began (retroactively) with Man of Steel, and continued with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and the upcoming Justice League.
Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s comic book-themed films continue on Nov. 17 with Justice League, which stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Raymond Fisher as Cyborg, Willem Dafoe as Vulko, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Amber Heard as Mera and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.
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