New Line Cinema’s upcoming English-language film based on the Hello Kitty brand announced the two directors that will helm the project.
A duo of animation directors, Jennifer Coyle and Leo Matsuda, have been announced as the directors of the upcoming Hello Kitty live-action/animated film.
The announcement was made by the two directors, as well as New Line Cinema Chief Creative Officer Richard Brener. Brener said that New Line was “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+ 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.”
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Coyle was a director on six seasons of the animated sitcom Bob’s Burgers and served as supervising producer on the HBO Max animated series Harley Quinn. “This is not only a rare chance to bring a beloved character to life, but also to spread the message of love, friendship and inclusivity that Hello Kitty stands for,” she said of her upcoming project. “The world so needs her brand of joy and happiness.”
Matsuda worked as a story artist for Disney, working on such films as Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia. “Growing up in Brazil with a Japanese family, I was surrounded by the whimsy of Hello Kitty and it served as a reminder that it’s okay to be different,” he recalled. “Along with Jen, FlynnPictureCo. and New Line, I am delighted by this incredible opportunity to work with one of the most universally beloved characters and expand their relatable Sanrio stories even further.” This film will mark the first time Coyle and Matsuda have collaborated and it will be the first studio film that either of them will direct.
The Hello Kitty film was announced in 2019. There are currently no plot details available, but the film is intended to appeal to a Western audience. It will be the first Sanrio film made outside of Japan in all its years as a brand. The film was written by Lindsay Beer and produced by Beau Flynn and his FlynnPictureCo. No casting announcements have been made.
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