Tom Hanks Will Play an Astronaut Again for Mattel's Live-Action Major Matt Mason Movie

Not a picture from the Major Matt Mason movie.
Not a picture from the Major Matt Mason movie.
Photo: Universal

After years of playing a toy cowboy opposite one, Tom Hanks has decided that it is his time to be the toy astronaut.


Variety reports that, in the endless chase to turn every toy brand, no matter how obscure, into a multimedia franchise blockbuster epic, Mattel has decided to rummage around in its toy box and found vintage classic Major Matt Mason as the next potential live-action toy adaptation.

A series of action figures from the ‘60s, the Major Matt Mason line followed the titular astronaut and his fellow space explorers as they boldly went into the depths of space to chart the unknown. Initially, the line—first introduced in the mid-’60s—focused on a more real-life inspired version of space, taking inspiration from period-appropriate NASA designs. Eventually, it transitioned into a more traditional sci-fi realm, giving Mason an alien foe to battle in the form of the incredibly named Captain Lazer.

It’s presumably this latter version of Major Matt Mason that Hanks will not just star in, but produce alongside the perennially occupied Akiva Goldsman for Mattel and Paramount Pictures. Star Trek: Picard showrunner Michael Chabon’s short story about the character is providing inspiration for the script, which is penned by Goldsman.

Weirdly enough, and similar to another big name actor collabo Goldsman recently broke news on, this isn’t actually the first time Hanks have been associated with a Major Matt Mason film. Back in 2009, Hanks co-wrote a script for a 3D animated take on the character with Graham Yost, with plans for him to lend his voice to the character—but plans stalled when no director could be found.

Maybe this time Hanks will get his wish and get to return to the silver screen version of the stars soon enough.


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James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!



God I wish they would bring Major Matt Mason toys back. I loved them all. I drew pictures of them. I loved how the space helmets had moving visors and would stick tightly to the rubbery mass that was Mason. I loved the arm and leg joints. Hell, I even loved the space sled. And the clumsy moon suit with the squeezy-bulb air-powered arms. But I loved the space station the best. Those red beams and white hexagonal platforms, that blue-tinted plastic window panels, the flash-light powered central column... I used to tune the television to static to create the pale blue light the commercials showed late at night, so I could play... ON THE MOOOOOON.

I miss those toys so much.