If ever there was a role it feels like Tom Hanks has been gearing up to play for the entirety of his career, it’s this one. Hanks has set up his next project which sees him returning to the world of toys and getting back into his Apollo 13 performance headspace to play iconic ’60s Mattel toy Major Matt Mason in a live-action adaptation of this…well, toy’s story.
According to Variety‘s report, Hanks and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman are the only two names currently attached to the live-action Mattel movie. The project has been set up at Paramount Pictures with Mattel Films co-producing. While details about the movie are unknown, there’s every reason to expect the story will incorporate elements from the Major Matt Mason toy backstory, which includes the astronaut living and working on the moon. The Major Matt Mason toy was also accompanied by alien and villain toy characters back in the day. At this stage in the movie’s development, it’s possible some of those toys may be adapted for the live-action movie, too.
This movie feels like one that will fall neatly into the resurgent trend of “Let’s send A-listers into space” (see: fall 2019 releases Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt and Lucy in the Sky with Natalie Portman) while also offering up another opportunity to Hanks to channel some of that BTE (Big Toy Energy) he likely has on reserve from his Toy Story days. Hopefully, he can also add in some of the lovable charms he’s showcasing in his upcoming film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood; who doesn’t love a lovable Hanks?
It’s unclear whether this live-action adaptation of Major Matt Mason’s story will lean more towards serious action flick or fun sci-fi story. Goldsman, who’s penned films like A Beautiful Mind and Batman & Robin, is capable of going either way. No matter how it shakes out, we might be witnessing the dawn of the Mattel Extended Universe between this project and the forthcoming Margot Robbie-starring Barbie movie. Watch out, world.