Remember the late ’90s? Remember the dot-com bubble, when this exciting newfangled invention called “the Inter-net” was going to make us all richer than god and jet-propel the American economy into the future? Wall Streeters started buying up highly speculative tech stocks like crazy, and when it came time for the invested companies to deliver the goods, many failed completely and the business went into something of a tailspin. Even the online outfits that survived and went on to become titans of industry — your Amazons, your eBays — suffered 90% declines in stock valuation. A lot of people lost a lot of cash, and it took years for the online economy to scrape itself back together.

Those who do not learn from history, it is said, are doomed to repeat it.

During yesterday’s proceedings at the annual convention for movie exhibitors known as CinemaCon, Warner Bros. announced their intention to release a Scooby-Doo (ScreenCrush editor Matt Singer’s favorite TV show of all time) reboot that would give a newer, hipper edge to the beloved cartoon Great Dane and hopefully erase all memory of the recent live-action films with Linda Cardellini and Matthew Lillard.

The film, set for a release on September 21, 2018, has been titled S.C.O.O.B., but don’t get hung up on that, because there was still darker and more foreboding news to come. As the sky above turned a deep crimson and a swarm of bats flew out of seemingly nowhere, a Warner Bros. rep announced that S.C.O.O.B. would be “our first shot at unlocking the whole Hanna-Barbera Universe.” The ground beneath the assembled attendees rumbled violently and a cold wind blew through the convention hall. The end is nigh.

All jokes aside, Universe-fatigue must surely be on its way. Audiences have swallowed the connected Marvel and DC universes, and soon Universal will craft a new universe around their seminal monster-movie properties. Disney has laid tracks for a universe of their own, and now Warner Bros. wants viewers to get jazzed over the prospect of Hanna-Barbera characters flitting in and out of each other’s movies. At some point, perhaps the point when every single week’s slate of releases features a bloated franchise picture, audiences will reject this ploy and start to clamor for original stories again. Then, and only then, will the Universes come crashing down.

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