The Next Cinematic Universe is...General Mills' Cereal Monsters?

For years, every studio in Hollywood has wanted to cash in on the cinematic universe craze. Now that fervor has spread beyond Hollywood and reached...the cereal industry? General Mills, the food company behind ubiquitous brands like Cheerios and Cocoa Puffs, wants to launch the cinematic universe you've been craving all this time: a General Mills Cereal Monsters universe. Seriously.

Who are the Cereal Monsters, you ask? They're General Mills' candy-colored iterations of classic cinematic monsters that grace the covers of General Mills' line of "monster cereals." Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Boo Berry are the three mascots of this line first introduced in 1971. They've gone on to cover everything from posters, paint sets, speedster cars, parachutes, and even vinyl advertising figures. And soon they could be making their way to the big screen.

A curious website called "We Work With Monsters" went up recently that put out the call for "filmmakers, actors, agents, writers, producers, animators, tastemakers, dealmakers, movers and shakers" to help adapt the Cereal Monsters to feature films. This apparently is not a fan contest or a practical joke. The company writes on the website:

We want to work with you to bring great stories to life. From mythical fables to magical journeys. Fairy tales to folk tales. Cliffhangers to nail-biters. Heroic sagas to cosmic battles. Binge-worthy dramas to historical epics. Blockbusters to indies. Serials to sequels.

Together, let's captivate the hearts and minds of teens and adults.

This isn't a contest. This isn't a pitch for free ideas.

We humbly submit this brief to you, Hollywood.

General Mills launched this site and are supposedly asking everyone and everyone to pitch them their best ideas. But mostly, they're targeting Hollywood – if we're going by the giant pink header on the website featuring Frankenberry in a sensual pose with the text "Hello, Hollywood" next to him.

To submit an idea, you have to tell General Mills who you are and why they should work with you so they can "establish a long working partnership with the best talent in the business." It's safe to say that this isn't the usual way you start making connections in Hollywood, but hey, it is making headlines, so maybe General Mills is doing something right.

I'm as baffled as you, but perhaps General Mills has always had its eye on Hollywood. Its Cereal Monsters received a character redesign with the help of DC Comics in 2014, which resulted in the streamlined designs we see today. Jim Lee, Terry Dodson, and Dave Johnson all pitched in to redesign Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Boo Berry. And maybe this will be the next cinematic universe that can replace the hole that the ill-fated Dark Universe left behind. Who knows, perhaps Hollywood will want to take a bite out of this franchise.