Tom Hanks Eyeing ‘Major Matt Mason’ Film

Published 6 years ago by , Updated August 22nd, 2013 at 3:18 pm,

Remember when comedic-turned-serious actor Tom Hanks provided his voice for Woody in the two Toy Story movies? Remember when he did such a great job? Well, it seems, over a decade later, he will be gracing our screens as another toy: this time playing a live-action version of the vintage Mattel action figure, Major Matt Mason.

Anyone born in the late ’70s or beyond will probably never have heard of the Major Matt Mason action figure (excluding those avid toy collectors out there – you know who you are). The story of Major Matt Mason was that he was an astronaut who lived in a space station on the moon. The toy  gained popularity during the time period leading up to the moon landing in 1969; soon after, the Matt Mason line was abandoned by Mattel in the early ’70s, although the toy is still fondly remembered and collected today.

Universal will be the studio to develop the Major Matt Mason movie (say THAT three times fast), along with Hanks and his Playtone producing partner, Gary Goetzman. It is being developed with Hanks specifically in mind to star, and will be written by Graham Yost, whose writing credits include Speed and Mission to Mars. Yost has also worked as a supervising producer and writer on the Hanks executive produced series From the Earth to the Moon, and was a writer/producer on other Hanks/Goetzman projects such as Band of Brothers, John Adams and The Pacific.

Hanks clearly isn’t messing around when it comes to the projects he pursues – not only does he pursue them as an actor, but he always seems to dive in head first with producing or developing them, or at least seems to take more interest in them than most people in the industry would.

I’ll admit I had never even heard of the Major Matt Mason action figure before today (being born a couple of decades too late doesn’t exactly help…), but it does sound like an interesting idea for a film. I mean, it’s about a toy, so clearly there isn’t all that much storyline to build off of, but that’s okay. Graham Yost has shown he’s very competent at what he does (particularly with Speed and his involvement in various other projects with Hanks and Goetzman), and I’m sure he’ll come up with something half decent (although hopefully he aims for a higher level than that).

And just on a related note, this isn’t the only movie currently being developed from a toy lineHe-Man, Hot Wheels, Monopoly (being directed by Ridley Scott), Stretch Armstrong (being written by Steve Oedekerk), Candyland and Ouija are all in the works.

So is there any fans of the original Major Matt Mason action figure out there? What do you think of Hanks playing him?

Source: Variety

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  1. This is _excellent_ news! Hanks was a lover of the Major Matt Mason toy line as a child, still has some now — he’s said to have brought his own to the meeting — and, as “Apollo 13″ and “From the Earth to the Moon” show, he has a deep and abiding love of the Space Program, and especially the Space Race of the 1960s that this toy line was based on. If it’s done as a sort of Retro-Future from a square 1960s POV, it will be amazing.

  2. This was way before my time, but if it’s anything like Apollo 13, it should be pretty good. I generally like Tom Hanks movies anyways.

  3. In addition to the toyline ,
    there were comics for a brief time
    And I used to have some!
    VERY excited about this!

  4. I couldn’t be happier to hear about the plans Tom Hanks has for Major Matt Mason. When I was a kid one of my favorite toys was the MMM ‘action figure’. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the figure was rubber with wires inside it’s limbs so it could be posed in different positions. I’ll never forget the day one of the arm wires broke. (from overuse no doubt) I was devastated. I actually used the broken arm as part of the story line I made up about his dangerous adventures on the moon. If the toy line is rereleased I’ll be one of the first to purchase them. It’s like having my childhood hero reborn!

  5. I was born in 1960, and played with “The Major Matts”, including Sgt. Storm,and astronauts Jeff Long and Doug Davis. Also had the friendly giant alien, Captain Laser and the not so friendly alien, Scorpio, both of whom had battery operated lights in their bodies. I incorporated a similar sized Captain America and Green Hornet into their adventures, as well as Gumby and Pokey (hey, they looked like aliens already). I had most of the vehicles (Space Crawler, Space Cannon, The Uni-Tred & Space Bubble, The talking space station,and a bunch of small stuff. This makes me happily anxious. These were my favorite toys, and we didn’t need a stupid cartoon to tell us how to play with them. Should be a great movie with Hanks involved.

  6. I'm french and I am a big fan of MMM's toys. I was playing with in my childhood and now I collect everything about. I am so happy to see Tom Hanks in this role. Tom is an famous actor and i'm sure it'll be the best in this space mission. I'm waiting to see this film, to re-create all my childhood adventures….

  7. I'm french and I am a big fan of MMM's toys. I was playing with in my childhood and now I collect everything about. I am so happy to see Tom Hanks in this role. Tom is an famous actor and i'm sure it'll be the best in this space mission. I'm waiting to see this film, to re-create all my childhood adventures….

  8. I had Major Matt Mason when I was young.

  9. Any male child who grew up in the late sixties to early seventies and was into the space program that was happening at the time knows of major matt mason. It was the must have toy for a child of this generation and what a toy it was. There were four different 6 inch rubber astronaut figures to play with (major matt mason, sgt. storm, doug davis and jeff long) along with multiple accessory kits (space station, space crawler, lazar cannon, astro-trac, space bubble and unitred tractor). The aliens both friend and foe were caliisto, captain lazer and scorpio. Initially the toy line was based on actual NASA designs and craft that were going to be used in the coming years for space exploration but then incorporated a number of science fiction toys probably done to keep a child’s interest in the toy line as well as to keep up with what kids were watching on t.v. at the time (lost in space, star trek, thunderbirds, ultra man). After we landed on the moon in 1969 and the general public started to lose interest in the space program Mattel who manufactured the toy discounted it in or around 1970-71. A movie based on the toy line would be great for those who played with this toy back in the day as well as for anyone interested space science fiction.

  10. The other day, at the chiro’s office, I seen a sign that asked “what was your favourite gift you got as a child at Christmas”?
    My thought imediateley went back to opening my Major Matt Mason gift. I had the crawler,lander and sled. Played, looked at, and dreamed of.
    So even today I think of it. And when looking found this posting. Mr Hanks, your the best one to bring boy hood dreams to realality, for all ages to enjoy.
    Good luck.