Children's book character Thomas the Tank Engine from the THOMAS & FRIENDS series in the 1940s is gearing up for the big screen, according to The Hollywood Reporter .
HIT Entertainment has hired screenwriter Josh Klausner and Julia Pistor is set to produce the film.
"THOMAS & FRIENDS is a phenomenally successful and versatile brand that appeals to children and families worldwide," said 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."
The property is one of the world's most popular in the preschool category, with more than 100 million books and wooden train accessories sold worldwide. HIT is also planning a new CGI animated TV series for next year, while the film project -- a mix of live-action and CGI -- is scheduled to release in spring 2011.