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9 director taking on live-action Thomas the Tank Engine film

06.09.2011

Yet another classic childhood property is getting snatched up for the big screen treatment, and this time, it's one that could produce a rather strange result.

9 director Shane Acker is set to helm a live-action adaptation of Thomas the Tank Engine. That seems like the kind of thing that might be a better CGI feature, as it you know, features talking trains, but Acker has a different idea of how the property should be handled.

"I'm a recent father, with a 20-month old daughter," he told Deadline. "We lead such busy lives in Hollywood, always running and hustling, but children tend to slow you down a bit and reconnect you with that inner world. It reinvents your imagination, seeing things through a child's eyes It was transformative for me and that is what inspired me about the possibilities here. The tale will revolve around a pre-teen boy who has drifted apart from his father. The son is introduced into this world of Sodor, a place his father visited as a child but can't remember. There is a bonding experience."

Sodor sounds like a demonic hell-city to me, but no, it's the titular town from the series, and I'm sure this won't be a terribly dark vision of Thomas and his bretheren.

Supposedly Weta Workshop is set to do a lot of work on the film to make those talking trains not terrifying, but if there's one red flag for this, I'd say it's that the script is being written by SHREK THE THIRD's Josh Klausner, also responsible for the fourth film in that series and DATE NIGHT to boot. But I suppose it is talking trains, and how much cleverness do you really need in that screenplay? I don't see the target audience being a day over seven for this, and that's totally fine. Little kids need movies too, and not every children's movie has to be for grown-ups as well.

Extra Tidbit: I vote for a live-action Mr. Rogers movie where he's a gun-toting action hero.
Source: Deadline

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