Fresh from his Oscars win, British actor Eddie Redmayne has joined the cast of the new Thomas the Tank Engine movie, Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure. Redmayne will voice the role of Ryan, a new character described as "overconfident and dismissive" and who takes over from Thomas when the famous engine is sent to work on another branch line.

Eddie RedmayneEddie Redmayne won the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Dr Stephen Hawking

In a statement, Redmayne said: "I jumped at the opportunity to get involved and what fun it was ... I have never voiced an animated character before, and I had a complete blast."

The British actor will be joined in Legend of the Lost Treasure by John Hurt - another Oscar winner - who provides the voice of Sailor John. Elsewhere, Jamie Campbell Bower voices the sailing vessel Skiff. 

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Hurt said: "Sailor John was something of a departure from what I usually do and a lot of fun to play."

Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure will be the second longer-length Thomas special to be released this year, following The Adventure Begins, due out in the Spring. The movie is scheduled for DVD and VOD release in September though given the addition of Redmayne, it is also likely to have a short run in cinemas.

Redmayne won the Oscar for Best Actor at Sunday's ceremony (February 22) for his portrayal of Dr Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. 

"This belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS. It belongs to one exceptional family ; Stephen, Jonathan, Jane and the Hawking children."

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