March 25, 2009–Universal will produce “Major Matt Mason,” a live-action feature based on the vintage Mattel action figure as a star vehicle for Tom Hanks, based on Graham Yost's script. Playtone partners Hanks and Gary Goetzman will produce.
The toy line originated in 1966; Mason led an astronaut team that worked on the moon and lived in a space station. The toy was a hit in the buildup to the first manned moon mission. Mattel retired the line in the 1970s.
Yost (“Speed.”) and Hanks explored moon matter when Hanks was an executive producer of the HBO mini “From the Earth to the Moon,” with Yost serving as supervising producer and writer of two episodes. Yost has also been a writer or producer for Hanks and Goetzman on the Playtone-produced HBO mini series “Band of Brothers,” “John Adams” and “The Pacific.”
Mattel is teamed with Warner Bros. and producer Joel Silver on “He-Man and Masters of the Universe,” which will be directed by “Kung Fu Panda” co-director John Stevenson, and “Hot Wheels,” which moved from Sony.