New Line, a subsidiary of AT&T/Warnermedia, will produce a live-action/animated hybrid film around the iconic Japanese character Hello Kitty, owned by Sanrio.
This film marks another entry into the hybrid film model we’ve been seeing more of, with recent films like Detective Pikachu, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Tom and Jerry.
The as-yet-untitled Hello Kitty film will be produced by FlynnPicture Co., which is behind San Andreas and Rampage. The banner is also producing Disney’s upcoming Jungle Cruise. Lindsay Beer (Sierra Burgess Is a Loser) of Known Universe wrote the script.
The directors attached to the project, Jennifer Coyle and Leo Matsuda, are animation industry veterans. Both will be making their feature directorial debuts.
Coyle (pictured top right), repped by UTA, has worked as a story artist on projects from studios like Nickelodeon and Warner Bros. Animation, and has been an episode director Bob’s Burgers. Most recently, she was a producer and showrunner for several DC Super Hero Girls shorts and the series itself, as well as the supervising producer for the Harley Quinn series, which was just nominated for two Annie Awards.
Matsuda, repped UTA, 3 Arts, and Hirsch Wallerstein, started his professional career on The Simpsons Movie as a character layout artist, before moving to Blue Sky Studios and later Disney as a story artist, earning credits on films like Wreck-It Ralph and Big Hero 6. He wrote and directed and wrote the 2016 Disney short Inner Workings, which was released theatrically with Moana. He left Disney in 2017 to direct features and had set up a couple projects at Dreamworks Animation, before boarding Hello Kitty.
New Line president and CCO Richard Brener told Deadline, which first reported the news, that he feels “extremely lucky to have found in Jennifer and Leo, two directors who not only share a profound connection to the unforgettable characters Shintaro Tsuji and Sanrio have created over the past 40-plus years with Hello Kitty and her friends, but also have the imagination, talent and heart to bring this iconic world to life on the big screen.”
Beau Flynn will produce for FlynnPictureCo. Known Universe is an executive producer, and New Line’s Brener, Celia Khong, and Paulina Sussman will oversee for the studio.
Coyle photo courtesy of Andrew Marlin.