Will Hello Kitty be making her Hollywood movie debut soon?
Hello Kitty has never spoken in her life. Could a silent film be in the works?
At 45 years old, Hello Kitty is one step away from finally making her Hollywood debut.
Sanrio has granted film rights to the Warner Bros label New Line and Flynn Picture Company to develop the character's first English-language feature film.
The partnership, which was announced on Monday (Mar 6), marks the only time Sanrio has granted film rights to Hello Kitty and other popular characters, including Gudetama, My Melody and Little Twin Stars, to a major film studio. The announcement did not indicate whether the feature film will be animated, live-action, or a hybrid.
A search for writers and creative talent will commence immediately, said Sanrio in a statement.
Beau Flynn (Rampage, San Andreas) will produce and Wendy Jacobson will executive produce for Flynn Picture. New Line said it had spent nearly five years pursuing the movie rights.
Sanrio founder Shintaro Tsuji said in a statement, “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.”
Flynn added: "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!”
Initially designed in 1974 and introduced on a coin purse a year later, Hello Kitty can be found in 130 countries on more than 50,000 different branded products each year, from pencil cases to pyjamas to even buses and airlines. Last year, she appeared in a bullet train in Japan, which was painted pink and white.
Sanrio also has two theme parks in Japan and its characters, including Hello Kitty, are licensed for overseas amusement parks, including China.
(Additional report from AFP)