The film marks the first movie deal outside of Japan in Sanrio’s 45-year history, as well as the first time the brand has granted film rights to Hello Kitty and other popular characters to a major film studio.
"I am extremely pleased that Hello Kitty and other popular Sanrio characters will be making their Hollywood debut," said Sanrio CEO Shintaro Tsuji in a statement to Deadline. "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 was started in 1974 with the release of its first product, a coin purse. From there, Hello Kitty and other characters like My Melody, Little Twin Stars and more gained popularity and the brand became a global phenomenon.
"We are thrilled to partner with Sanrio and FlynnPictureCo. on developing a film based on this treasured icon," said New Line Chief Creative Officer Richard Brener and Chief Content Officer Carolyn Blackwood in a joint statement. "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."
The film will be produced by FlynnPictureCo.’s Beau Flynn, and the executive producer will be Wendy Jacobson.