Cancelled Movies. Wiki

The Adventures of Thomas was a planned film based on The Railway Series which starred Thomas the Tank Engine & his friends. It would have been made by HIT Entertainment along with CGI provided by Weta Digital.


The movie begins with a young boy (named "Johnny") and his father escaping London during the Blitz during World War II. They are evacuated to his father's old home, situated nearby a railway station. While there, Johnny discovers drawings by his father of engines with faces.

One night, Johnny heads down to the station when he is unable to sleep. At the station, he meets Edward, and helps to remove a sign stuck in his wheels. As a thank-you, Edward takes Johnny on a ride through "other-worldly caves and waterfalls" to the Island of Sodor, a fantasy realm run entirely by trains, with no people.

At Tidmouth Sheds, Johnny meets James, Percy and Emily, along with new characters Squeak and Puffing Billy. In the corner of the sheds he finds Thomas, who is sitting disused: "his coal unlit, because he wasn't useful". Johnny relights his fire, bringing Thomas back to life. Thomas mistakes Johnny for his father, who used to travel with them long ago.

Throughout the film, Johnny journeys back and forth between Sodor and his new home. He tells his father about his adventures, however he does not believe him - having forgotten Sodor - until he reunites with Thomas at the end of the movie.

In a big, grimy, industrial city on the other side of Sodor, a gang of diesels - led by Smoke - plots to take over the Island and smelt all of the steam engines. The diesels begin their ambush by derailing the steam engines and shutting down the coaling plants in the mountains of Sodor. With the steam engines unable to stop them, it is up to Thomas and Johnny to stop their takeover.

Thomas and Johnny journey across other parts of the Island, meeting other new characters. These include Bertha, four military boats (two of which are a husband and wife), and three French mine carts which start a resistance against the diesels utilising underground tunnels.

In the climax, there is a relay race across Sodor between the steam and diesel engines. The day is saved by Gordon, who returns after having disappeared during the diesels' takeover. The film ends with a shot of Thomas, Johnny and his father riding into the sunset.

Why It Was Cancelled[]

  1. The steam vs diesels concept has already been done before in the straight-to-DVD movie Calling All Engines!.
  2. It got stuck in the development vault for a long time, first it was set to be released in 2010 during the 65th anniversary of The Railway Series, but then was changed to Spring 2011, then to 2012, then to 2013, and then to 2014. It was postponed many times during development of the film.
  3. Mattel took over HIT Entertainment (who was working on the movie) in 2013, meaning Mattel most likely had dropped production for this movie to make room for production of other projects such as Season 17-24 of the Thomas And Friends franchise, and more straight-to-DVD films/specials. Thomas & Friends concluded in 2021 and was replaced with Thomas and Friends: All Engines Go!.


  • The film was permanently cancelled.
  • In 2020, a new theatrical Thomas movie is currently in production with Marc Forster as the director and will be produced by Mattel Films & 2DUX². IMDb says the film has an October 9th, 2025 release date, though this may not be true.




  • This film would have made merchandise aimed for older Thomas fans than for generally younger Thomas fans.
  • Much like Thomas and the Magic Railroad, this film would have used live-action sequences, but would have a mix of CGI instead of electric, model trains, with static clay faces.
  • According to an interview with UCLA Magazine, this movie would have been released in 2013. However, it is unknown if this is true or not.
  • According to SiF in 2019, the script was written and completed in 2010.
  • It appeared that the movie would have been distributed by Cinetic Media and UTA's Independent Film Group in conjunction with HiT Entertainment.
  • The plot of this movie is very similar to one of the side-plots in Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
  • In early October 2020, Twitter user DiscussingFilm revealed that a live action/CGI film is in the works from Christopher Robin director Marc Forster. It is unknown if the film will be a revive of this film or if it will be a new film entirely.
  • The promotional poster for the movie and teaser does not show Thomas' face, so it is unknown what Thomas' face would have looked like in this movie.
  • The screenplay for the film was completed in 2011.
  • In 2021, pictures of an early CGI model (minus the face) were released, with some noteworthy differences (a brass number plate instead of a painted one, a more saturated shade of blue, and the final model had rivets on the valences, running board, side tanks, & a bunker).
  • This would've been the first time Thomas was portrayed as an LB&SCR E2 (outside of some merchandise lines), with a Westinghouse air brake pump & a rear running board dip, which were carried by the real E2s but not by Thomas in the TVS.
  • According to Nitrogen's Production Timeline, character concept art for The Adventures of Thomas was created in 2009.