Hit Targets Big Screen with Thomas

Hit Entertainment is bringing its hit children’s TV franchise Thomas the Tank Engine to the big screen.

Variety reports the feature, due in 2010, is the first project for Hit Movies, a new division of Hit Entertainment.

The company, which also is the home for Bob the Builder and Barney and Friends, will make mostly live-action films and will start with adaptations of its TV hits. Plans call for a move into producing a broader line of family films.

Heading up the L.A.-based division is former Nickelodeon exec Julia Pistor, who oversaw SpongeBob SquarePants and Rugrats features for Nick Movies.

‘We’re not making preschool movies or making movies just to have feature-length TV episodes,’ says Pistor. ‘We’re looking to tell stories that are compelling to the whole family.’

In addition to Thomas the Tank, HIT will be developing movies based on Barney, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina and Rainbow Magic. These features will expand on the essence of these world-renowned HIT brands, and will target a broad family audience.