Robert Zemeckis in Talks to Direct MAJOR MATT MASON in 3D; Tom Hanks Stars

     June 11, 2011


Tom Hanks initiated development Major Matt Mason, a feature based on the Mattel astronaut action figure, in 2009.  Hanks wrote the screenplay with Graham Yost (who scripted episodes of Hanks-produced miniseries Band of Brothers and The Pacific) and, as a producer with Playtone partner Gary Goetzman, earmarked the lead role for himself.  For a director, Hanks is turning to the man who directed him to Oscar nominations in Forrest Gump and Cast Away: Robert Zemeckis.

According to THR, Zemeckis is in talks to direct Major Matt Mason in 3D with a tentative budget over $100 million.  We heard recently that Zemeckis’ next project is likely to be Flight, which may shoot as early as the fall.  Post-production could occupy Zemeckis through a good portion of 2012, though Major Matt Mason could get in front of cameras next year when schedules align.

Hit the jump for background on the toy.


Major Matt Mason was an action figure created by Mattel, an astronaut who lived and worked on the moon. When introduced in 1966, the figures were initially based on design information found in Life Magazine, Air Force Magazine, Jane’s, and other aviation- and space-interest periodicals. Later, the line would attempt to transition into the realm of science fiction…

Mason had a dark brown crew cut and a white suit; Sgt. Storm had blond hair and a red suit; civilian astronaut Doug Davis had a yellow suit and brown hair; Lt. Jeff Long was African-American, with a blue suit (almost 2 decades before Guion Bluford became the first American black man to orbit the Earth)…

The primary alien of the sci-fi period, Captain Lazer, was a giant who towered over the astronauts. The character was originally depicted as a mysterious and possibly hostile entity, but later appeared to be the astronauts’ ally against other, more hostile extraterrestrials. The figure had glowing red eyes, a glowing breastplate, and a permanently attached laser pistol in his hand. [Wikipedia]

Zemeckis has other options on his plate, including Replay and Timeless, but Major Matt Mason sounds like a lot of fun.  Certainly the lightest iteration of Hanks’ outer space fixation.  I’m in.



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