New Line has announced a feature film adaptation of the internationally known pop culture character Hello Kitty. Since the fictional character’s inception in 1974, she has gone on to create multiple franchises in the realms of the fashion industry with jewelry and clothing lines, manga and anime shows and movies, toy lines as well as pop music. The character is so beloved that its fame isn’t limited to one culture or country, and expands the globe. New Line Cinemas have now obtained the film rights to Hello Kitty from Sanrio, the company responsible for the character, for the first time in its 45-year history.
As reported by Variety, the film will be produced by New Line Cinemas, as well as Beau Flynn, whose producer credits include the hit San Andreas, and the upcoming Red Notice, starring Dwayne Johnson. While the film is said to be an English language film to be released theatrically, there’s no word on whether the film will be a live-action adaptation, animated or a blend of both. However, given that New Line’s parent’s parent company Warner Bros. has a movie with similar history and origin releasing later this year, the tone and style of a Hello Kitty movie can be deduced.
Flynn explained in a statement why he was interested in the project.
“Hello, Kitty has been one of the most beloved characters around the world for the last forty-plus years. 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!”
Hello Kitty isn’t the first Japanese owned, fictional character to be developed into a feature film for theatrical release in Hollywood. Warner Bros. produced, Detective Pokemon Pikachu, is all set to release on May 10. The character of Pikachu from the popular Pokemon video game franchise and Kitty have a lot more in common than having features films being produced by the same company. Both characters have their origins from Japanese pop culture and have spread beyond into becoming a globally recognizable phenomenon. Both characters are also mostly silent, nonspeaking and adorable for all ages. Based on the treatment of Pikachu, the Hello Kitty movie may follow a similar style of CGI animated set in a live-action world.
What remains to be seen is what possible talent behind the camera, as well as in front of, are secured to join the project.