Thomas the Tank Engine and his assorted mechanical buddies who have entertained kids on television for about 12 years are on their way to the big screen.
Plans are under way for a feature film, under the working title Thomas and the Magic Railroad, to be shot at England’s Shepperton Studios and in North America, with a projected release date of summer 1997.
Britt Allcroft, who originated the TV series, will write and produce the film. Paramount Pictures is handling worldwide distribution.
The TV show, Shining Time Station, follows the life of a small town railroading community set in a mystical valley. It debuted in the U.K. in 1984 and reached the U.S. market five years later on the PBS network.
The show now airs in more than 20 countries.
In other Britt Allcroft news, Roger Martin, formerly with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, has joined on as senior license manager.
Martin will be in charge of toy and electronic media licensing and brand management. He reports to Kathy Lloyd-Williams, head of marketing.