March 6 (UPI) -- New Line Cinema said it is working on an animated, English-language movie starring Hello Kitty.
This is the first time Japan's Sanrio design and licensing company has granted a major film studio the rights to its 45-year-old characters Hello Kitty, Gudetama, My Melody and Little Twin Stars, which have inspired toy lines and appeared as images on apparel.
Hello Kitty even has her own giant balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
"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," Sanrio founder Shintaro Tsuji said in a statement Tuesday.
No writers or cast members have been hired yet for the movie.
"It's a rare privilege to have the opportunity to explore the possibilities of such timeless (intellectual property.) 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," said New Line's Richard Brener and Carolyn Blackwood in a joint statement.