Tom Hanks failed to land on the moon in the real life story of Apollo 13 in 1995. But Paramount Pictures will soon have the Oscar winner spend plenty of time on the lunar surface thanks to a new feature film inspired by a classic Mattel action figure.
Major Matt Mason is an astronaut action figure who was created in the 1960s when the United States was competing with the Soviet Union in the heated space race to be the first to land on the moon. And now Tom Hanks will play the character in a movie based on the popular toy. Find out more about the Major Matt Mason movie below.
Variety has word on Paramount Pictures setting up the Major Matt Mason movie with Akiva Goldsman writing the script, which will be based on a short story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, the writer of The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Goldsman previously worked with Hanks as the writer of both The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons.
Having Goldsman behind the screenplay doesn’t inspired much faith, but Goldsman has turned in decent screenplays before, such as I Am Legend and A Beautiful Mind. Unfortunately, he’s also been behind the scripts for Winter’s Tale, Batman & Robin, and the recent abysmal adaptation of The Dark Tower. But maybe he can surprise us all.
For those unfamiliar with Major Matt Mason, he’s an astronaut who lives and works on the moon. But we’re not looking at an outer space Cast Away scenario, because Matt Mason has a whole space crew on the moon with him, not to mention an assortment of alien allies. But there are also alien villains who threaten their safety on the moon.
It’s not clear exactly what kind of tone this movie will be going for. I could see this being a sort of lighthearted, even comedic, sci-fi adventure, but it’s not hard to imagine something like John Carter here too. Maybe they’ll go with a more dramatic angle and less of a sci-fi adventure vibe. But with other characters having names like Captain Lazer, that might be a little hard to take too seriously.
This seems like a surprising move for Tom Hanks, who has mostly been focused on dramas for the past decade. The only movies that haven fallen outside that genre are the last two installments of the Toy Story franchise and Larry Crowne. There’s also Cloud Atlas, which is still a drama, but is firmly in the sci-fi genre as well. But at least he’s keeping things interesting as he works through his 50s.