— by VANNA LAND —
“Thomas the Tank” is headed to the big screen cortesy of HIT Entertainment.
Screenwriter Josh Klausner, who penned “Shrek the Third,” has been hired to write a screenplay based on the British children’s television series “Thomas & Friends.”
“Thomas & Friends” was based on “The Railway Series” of books written in the 1940s by the Rev. W.V. Awdry.
Awdry was a train enthusiast and reportedly many of the stories in the series were based on real life events.
Accordingly, the stories came to life as he gave the trains human-like characteristics while telling the tales to his young son.
As reported at HIT Entertainment: “‘Thomas & Friends’ is a phenomenally successful and versatile brand that appeals to children and families worldwide,” said Julia Pistor, who heads Hit Movies. “Generations of children have grown up with the adventures of ‘Thomas & Friends’ with its storytelling tradition, positive values, timeless lessons and rich train history. We look forward to working with Josh Klausner to translate the classic ‘Thomas & Friends’ stories into a thrilling, big, modern adventure movie.”
Along with the movie — scheduled for release in spring 2011 — HIT plans to make a new CGI animated TV series to begin airing in 2010 to celebrate Thomas’ 65th birthday.
Voices will be provided for Thomas and his friends for the first time in the series. Although Alec Baldwin narrated and played Mr. Conductor for many of the stories in the U.S. series, according to HIT, he is not involved with the new productions.
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