New Line’s Hello Kitty movie, which was first announced in 2019, is going to be a hybrid feature film.
According to Deadline, the English-language flick about Sanrio’s Kitty White, a perpetual third-grader with feline qualities, will be a combination of animation and live-action, pretty much like 2019’s Pokémon Detective Pikachu and 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog.
The Hello Kitty movie will be directed by Jennifer Coyle and Leo Matsuda. Though Coyle and Matsuda have both worked on several animated TV series and films before, the Hello Kitty movie is their first collaboration together. It’s also the first studio film for either of them.
Coyle has directed 23 episodes of DC Super Hero Girls and 19 episodes of Bob’s Burgers. Her early directorial credits include the animated series Slacker Cats, The Spectacular Spider-Man, and The Goode Family. Coyle recently served as supervising producer on the animated HBO Max series Harley Quinn.
Matsuda, meanwhile, directed the shorts PreKissToric Times and Inner Workings, which premiered in 2016 along with Disney’s Moana. He also worked as a story artist on the movies Ralph Breaks the Internet, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia, Matsuda’s original animated feature Yokai Samba is currently in the works at Nickelodeon.
“[We are] 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,” New Line president and chief creative officer Richard Brener said in a statement.
Plot details about the Hello Kitty movie are being kept under wraps, but the goal is for it to be a four-quadrant film that appeals to all four major demographic quadrants of the moviegoing audience: both male and female, and both over- and under-25s. Lindsey Beer, who wrote the Netflix hit film Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, penned the script for the Hello Kitty movie.
Beau Flynn and his FlynnPictureCo., who pursued the Hello Kitty rights for over five years with New Line, will produce the Hello Kitty movie. Known Universe, the production company co-founded by Beer, meanwhile, will serve as executive producer on the film.
The Hello Kitty movie doesn’t have a release window yet.