Tom Hanks Is Major Matt Mason

Based on a popular US toy line

The last two times Tom Hanks played a toy, the results were pretty spectacular. So in a way, it’s not surprising to see him try a third time round – but this time, this isn’t a Toy Story, and he won’t be Woody.

Instead, the actor – one of the few genuine megastars left, in our humble opinion – has signed on to star in Major Matt Mason, a big-budget Universal actioner based on a vintage US action figure.

How vintage? Well, Major Matt – an astronaut who worked on the moon – was launched in 1966, three years before man even set foot on his home, before the line was kyboshed in the ‘70s.

Still, when he was allowed out of his box, Major Matt was accompanied by his three close pals, Sgt. Storm, Doug Davis and Lt. Jeff Long. Together, they fought numerous bad guys, chief amongst them Captain Lazer. We’re not making this up.

It all sounds enormously silly, but Hanks’ involvement is keeping us in check. After all, it seems that he grew up playing with Major Matt (steady…), given the story that he turned up to a meeting with Mattel executives armed with his own handful of Major Matt figures.

And if Hanks thinks there’s something in this, then that’s good enough for us. After all, it’s not like Major Matt is as iconic as, say, Transformers or G.I. Joe – we hadn’t heard of him before today, to be brutally frank - so we’re pretty sure that the movie won’t be able to get by by trading on its brand name. Instead, there’ll have to be some actual substance there, too, although Hanks’ presence can’t hurt from a box office point of view.

Graham Yost, who wrote Speed, will write the script for the movie, with Hanks doubling up as producer, along with Gary Goetzman.

Major Matt Mason joins Universal’s growing roster of toy-based movies, including Ridley Scott’s Monopoly (that still doesn’t look right), a Stretch Armstrong film, and Candyland.