Hello Kitty, the ubiquitous cartoon cat whose image graces everything from shoes to hats and backpacks to luggage, will soon be appearing on the big screen, New Line Cinema announced Tuesday.
Studio officials said they have reached an agreement with Japanese design firm Sanrio, clearing the way for the first worldwide Hello Kitty film in the cat's 45-year history. With the film rights secured, New Line officials said "a search for writers and creative talent will commence immediately."
In a statement, Sanrio founder and President/CEO Shintaro Tsuji said, "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."
There was no immediate word on timing of the film project or when it would hit theaters.
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"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," New Line President/Chief Creative Officer Richard Brener and President/Chief Content Officer Carolyn Blackwood said in a joint statement.