Mattel has partnered with the production company 2Dux² to develop a new feature film based on Thomas and Friends, the international toy maker has revealed this week. Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the global franchise this year, the announcement has arrived amid this year’s Festival of Licensing.
Under the partnership, Mattel Films and 2Dux² will bring Thomas & Friends to life through a ‘four-quadrant family adventure that blends live-action and animation.’ Mattel Film will co-produce the film alongside Marc Foster (Christopher Robin) who will also direct, and Renee Wolfe (also of Christopher Robin fame), the co-founder and co-CEO of 2Dux².
Robbie Brenner, executive producer, and Kevin McKeon, supervising producer, will lead the project for Mattel Films.
“Thomas is a beloved global franchise that focuses on the importance of friendship, a theme that resonates deeply with children and parents around the world,” said Brenner. “Marc is an incredible storyteller and I look forward to partnering with him to tell Thomas’ story in a modern and unexpected way.”
“Thomas has been a personal favorite of mine since childhood,” said Forster. “I couldn’t be more excited to be working with Robbie and the entire team at Mattel, and embarking on this beautiful journey with such a timeless property.”
Thomas & Friends, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, introduces children to the world around them through the wonder and awe of trains. Thomas was first created in 1945 by Rev. W. Awdry in stories for his son, Christopher. Today, the character is just as beloved by children as he was when he first chugged down the tracks.
Thomas’ stories are currently told through the “Thomas & Friends” television series (now in its 24th season), toys, books, apps and more.
Thomas & Friends joins other Mattel Films projects in development including films based on American Girl, Barbie, Barney, Hot Wheels, Magic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason, Masters of the Universe, View Master, and Wishbone.