‘DC Extended Universe’ Started as a Joke Name Made Up by a Journalist

Moniker was coined by Entertainment Weekly’s Keith Staskiewicz

Fans and journalists have almost universally adopted the name “DC Extended Universe” for the series of interconnected comic book movies produced by the studio, but that was name that began as a joke.

According to Vulture’s Abraham Riesman, who authored a deeply reported look at the current state of DC Entertainment, the name is not used within the company or in any official capacity at all. Officials within the company told Riesman they didn’t even know where the name came from.

Riesman explained on Twitter that he traced the phrase back to a 2015 Entertainment Weekly article by senior editor Keith Staskiewicz.

“This isn’t just a single movie, it’s a waystation to the upcoming ‘Justice League’ double-fister, not to mention a whole slew of other attractions on the DC Extended Universe™ road map,” Staskiewicz wrote in an article about the then-upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

“The writer of the article, Keith Staskiewicz, was hard to track down. Not on Twitter. No website,” Riesman wrote in a series of tweets. “Finally got him on Facebook and asked about the term. Turns out he just straight-up made it up as a joke.”

Staskiewicz explained to Riesman that the capitalization and trademark symbol he used in the piece, which all went toward making the moniker seem more official, were “sardonic” additions to a throwaway joke in the middle of the article. “Just seemed like the kind of thing they’d call it!” he said.

“Years later, it’s in use everywhere as though it’s official,” Riesman wrote. “The lesson: never make a joke, because no one gets jokes.”