Every Film Doesn’t Need Its Own Universe

With the recently announced Poohniverse, one thing has become abundantly clear: franchises are getting out of control.

Last Updated on April 3, 2024

The titular Poohniverse.

A few months ago I talked about the onslaught of Public Domain Horror Films we were being subjected to. And while these films would have been relegated to straight to DVD in a different era, Fathom Events has come along and given a platform to these smaller projects. So instead of toiling in the bargain bins at Walmart, they’re given brief theatrical runs. One such film was the recently released Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey 2. Shockingly, the film wasn’t terrible (you can check out my positive review here) but what I was struck by was the brief introduction by the filmmakers.

Star/Producer Scott Chambers and Writer/Director Rhys Frake-Waterfield talk to camera about their plans for what they describe as the Poohniverse. What exactly is the Poohniverse? Well, it’s an MCU-style world where characters like Pooh, Bambi, and Peter Pan exist together and murder people. As proven by Blood and Honey 2, there’s some entertainment to be had watching classic characters murder teens, slasher-style. The bar is pretty low so long as they include a surplus of kills. After taking part in their own individual films, the horror-slanted characters would come together Avengers-style for Poohniverse: Monsters Assemble.

The biggest issue I have is that the filmmakers aren’t simply waiting to see if there’s a want and demand for this, they are simply showing their filmmaker roadmap. And sure, I’m sure there’s a bit of poking fun at the MCU way of doing reveals, but it doesn’t make theirs any less ludicrous. There’s no telling how successful these films will be and, given their heavy reliance on gimmick, it wouldn’t surprise me if the joke quickly dissipates. Because I imagine “classic literary characters killing people” has a shelf life.

Thankfully, unlike the MCU which can sometimes span years ahead, the plan for the Poohniverse simply extends to 2025. But even still, it feels very cocky to even expect to be able to make such dumb movies and expect others to have any semblance of connection to it. One of the appeals to this kind of film is that you can go in without any knowledge of anything, and just enjoy yourself. Bring a group of friends and just laugh at it. But by creating a universe, there’s an expectation placed on the viewer that they need to know past events in order to understand the full story. Even if that’s not the case, the MCU and other series have conditioned general audiences to a different world.

And while it probably seems like I’m picking on the Poohniverse, this is simply the most relevant example. But this could be said for many different attempts at launching a franchise before there was even a desire from audiences for one. In the search for a successful series, companies are looking past the most important element: an audience’s desire for more. And when they know there’s another one around the corner, what’s to get them to buy a ticket?

What do you think? Does every film need its own universe of films? Can we ever just have standalone movies anymore? Has the MCU ruined everything? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author

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Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on JoBlo.com, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.