12:29pm PT by Mia Galuppo
Hello Kitty Movie in the Works at New Line
Hello Kitty will be making her Hollywood debut.
Sanrio, the Japanese company behind the iconic feline, has granted film rights to the Warner Bros. label New Line Cinema and Flynn Picture Company to develop the character's first English-language feature film.
The partnership marks the only time Sanrio has granted film rights to Hello Kitty and its other popular characters — including Gudetama, My Melody and Little Twin Stars, among others — to a major film studio.
It is currently unclear if the project is being developed as an animated or live-action feature, but the search for writers has already begun. Beau Flynn will produce and Wendy Jacobson will executive produce for Flynn Picture.
Hello Kitty has previously appeared in comic books, TV series, video games and several Japanese-language animated movies, as well as on more than 50,000 different branded products (if you can name it, you can find a Hello Kitty version of it).
“I am extremely pleased that Hello Kitty and other popular Sanrio characters will be making their Hollywood debut. Hello Kitty has long been a symbol of friendship and we hope this film will only serve to grow that circle of friendship around the world,” Sanrio founder Shintaro Tsuji said Tuesday in a statement.
“We are thrilled to partner with Sanrio and FlynnPictureCo. on developing a film based on this treasured icon. It’s a rare privilege to have the opportunity to explore the possibilities of such timeless IP," New Line's Richard Brener and Carolyn Blackwood offered in a joint statement.
Added Flynn: "With the positive and family-oriented values that Hello Kitty and Sanrio embody, there has never been a better time than now to share her message with the world!”