Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 June 2019

Hello Kitty to star in English-language movie

Film will be the first ever English-language outing for the popular Japanese toy

Hello Kitty is coming to the big screen, and for the first time, she has a voice. AP 
Hello Kitty is coming to the big screen, and for the first time, she has a voice. AP 

Popular Japanese toy Hello Kitty is to get her first ever English-language big screen outing thanks to a partnership between New Line Cinema, Japanese Hello Kitty creator Sanrio, and production house FlynnPictureCo.

The announcement comes four years after Sanrio announced it was to spend a massive $240m on a Hello Kitty movie, a plan that appears to have stalled, and is the first time Sanrio has ever granted screen rights to the character to a studio outside Japan.

The movie will also feature all of the, usually silent, character’s friends including Gudetama the egg, My Melody the rabbit and the Little Twin Stars.

Hello Kitty was initially designed in 1974 and introduced on a coin purse a year later. She can now be found in 130 countries on more than 50,000 different branded products each year. The character has never talked.

Hello Kitty can be found in 130 countries, and on more than 50,000 branded products every year. The National / Nicole Hill
Hello Kitty can be found in 130 countries, and on more than 50,000 branded products every year. The National / Nicole Hill

“I am extremely pleased that Hello Kitty and other popular Sanrio characters will be making their Hollywood debut,” Sanrio founder, President and CEO Shintaro Tsuji said. “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.”

New Line executives Richard Brener and Carolyn Blackwood said in a joint statement, “We are thrilled to partner with Sanrio and FlynnPictureCo. on developing a film based on this treasured icon.”

The Hello Kitty movie will be produced by Beau Flynn, whose previous work includes Rampage and Skyscraper.

“Hello Kitty has been one of the most beloved characters around the world for the last 40-plus years,” Flynn said. “We’re incredibly honoured 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!”

The announcement did not specify whether the new film would be animated, live action, or a combination of the two. New Line parent company, Warner Bros, however, is no stranger to capitalising on popular toys, having produced four successful Lego movies in the past five years.

Updated: March 6, 2019 04:02 PM

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