The iconic Hello Kitty character from Sanrio is in development as a film star with Warner Bros., according to Deadline. Sanrio has sold Hello Kitty's film rights to WB subsidairy New Line Cinema, with Flynn PicturesCo attached as producers. This is a change, as in 2015 Sanrio announced plans to finance its own Hello Kitty film for North America with a planned budget of $160 million to $240 million.
"I am extremely pleased that Hello Kitty and other popular Sanrio characters will be making their Hollywood debut," said Sanrio founder/President/CEO Shintaro Tsuji. "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."
Originally created in 1974 for Sanrio by Yuko Shimizu as a purse mascot, Hello Kitty has grown to be a major commercial brand that appears on various merchandise and is the central focus in a chain of Sanrio stores. Sanrio has previously produced three Hello Kitty anime films in Japan.