A “Hello Kitty” movie is finally coming to the big screen, capping a search for a studio that has been in the works since 2015.
New Line Cinema is teaming up with the Japanese company Sanrio to develop an English-language film based on “Hello Kitty,” the studio announced Tuesday. FlynnPictureCo. will produce the film, and Warner Bros. Pictures will distribute.
This is the first time Sanrio has granted film rights to a major film studio, and in the deal, it has also given the film rights to other popular characters, including Gudetama, My Melody, Little Twin Stars and more from its universe.
Beau Flynn will produce the “Hello Kitty” movie and Wendy Jacobson will executive produce for FlynnPictureCo. A search for writers and talent will begin immediately.
“Hello Kitty” was first designed in 1974 and was introduced on a coin purse a year later. The brand has become a global phenomenon, with it being one of the most recognized characters in the world. The character can be found in 130 countries on more than 50,000 different branded products each year.
“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, president and CEO Shintaro Tsuji said 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. Hello Kitty and her friends have been part of our shared culture for decades, and we look forward to exploring where her newest adventure will take her,” Richard Brener, president and chief creative officer, and Carolyn Blackwood, president and chief content officer at New Line Cinema, said in a joint statement.
“Hello Kitty has been one of the most beloved characters around the world for the last forty-plus years,” Flynn, said in a statement. “We’re incredibly honored that President Tsuji has entrusted us with the responsibility of bringing her story to the big screen globally for the first time ever, and it’s a dream that we get to do this with our long-term partners at New Line and Warner Bros. 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!”