Ground Control to ‘Major’ Tom Hanks


It’s not very far to go for a David Bowie reference, I know, but I felt that it needed to be said. Especially since no other websites saw fit to exploit the obvious joke at the hands of the announcement today that Tom Hanks is in talks to play Major Matt Mason. The film, which will be based on the Major Matt Mason toy line which has been around since 1966, is currently being written by Speed, Broken Arrow and Mission to Mars scribe Graham Yost and developed by the folks at Universal.

The basic premise of the toy line — which is always a good start for any cinematic venture — is that Major Matt Mason led a team of astronauts who worked on the moon and lived on a new-fangled space station. This was, of course, all created before the first manned moon mission in the 1960s, a fact that led to the toy line’s success as the country (and much of the world) went space crazy. That leads me to the first problem I see with this particular project: with the exception of a few of us, there aren’t too many people around these days who are really “space crazy.” That said, it would be Tom Hanks making a space movie, and there’s some equity there. There is also the fact that Yost wrote and co-produced two of the episodes in Hanks’ HBO mini-series From the Earth to the Moon, which was absolutely brilliant. If you dare to refute that, I will fight you — physically.

As of now the project is just in talks, but based on the report that Variety filed today it would appear that Mattel (the company behind the action figure) and Universal are very interested in getting it off the ground. They even took action figures to their meeting with Hanks and his producing partner Gary Goetzman over at Playtone. They didn’t need to bring the figures however, as Hanks was able to bring his own. This is why I like the guy — he owns action figures, which makes him “real.”

What do you make of this Major Matt Mason project? Also, are you ready for another Tom Hanks space movie, because I am.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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