Tom Hanks to return to space as 'Major Matt Mason'
Classic Mattel toy line just one of Universal's toy-themed projects
Tom Hanks may have found his next picture after the highly anticipated "Angels & Demons" this May.
Variety says Universal Pictures is developing a live-action version of "Major Matt Mason" with Hanks eyeing the title role. The picture will be based on the classic Mattel action figure, but make no mistake, this isn't another take on "G.I. Joe."
Launched in 1966, the toy line found Mason as the head of an astronaut team that lived in a space station while working on the moon. The toys were popular leading up to America's first manned moon mission, but they lost popularity in the 1970s. Mattel executives brought a number of the toys to a meeting with Hanks' Playtone production company only to find Hanks had brought his own.
Graham Yost, who teamed with Playtone on the acclaimed HBO mini series "From the Earth to the Moon," will write the screenplay.
Hanks interest in space exploration is no secret. He starred in Ron Howard's "Apollo 13" and "Earth to the Moon" was a passion project he co-produced.
Mattel is also developing "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" with Warner Bros. and Joel Silver as well as "Hot Wheels."
Universal is also working with Hasbro on three other toy/game related films: "Stretch Armstrong," "Monopoly" with Ridley Scott, "Candyland" and "Ouija."
Hanks will reprise the role of Robert Langdon in "Angels & Demons" May 15.
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