Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tom Hanks to star as MAJOR MATT MASON.

According to Variety, Tom Hanks, has agreed to star in a live action feature film based on the 1960's icon Major Matt Mason - Mattel's Man in Space. Graham Yost has been hired to write the screenplay. Yost has history with both sci-fi(Mission to Mars) and action-adventure(Speed.) He also has a working relationship with Hanks(Band of Brothers and From Earth to the Moon.)

Major Matt was an attempt by Mattel to capitalize on NASA's race to the moon. Major Matt and his astronaut buddies were stationed on the moon and were modeled after images seen in aviation periodicals. This toy line was hugely successful for Mattel and inspired Mel Birnkrant, then working for Colorforms, to create THE OUTER SPACE MEN. Ulitmately, space toys all suffered the same fate when Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon in '69. When no man-eating aliens devoured the unsuspecting astronauts. And the Apollo 11 missioned was deemed a monumental success, space toys were declared dead. That is, until Luke Skywalker blew up the Death Star in '77.

With Hollywood interest in retro toys being adapted into films, what does this mean for THE OSM? If Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is able to match the success of its predessor and GI Joe goes box office Boffo, will THE OUTER SPACE MEN be next? Let's speculate as to the format and casting of a big-budget OSM film. I'm thinking about a combination of CGI and live acting. Dolph Lundgren to play Venusian Commander Comet? Last year's Hulk proved that a total CGI character can carry a film. Is this what the Jovian Giant Colossus Rex will become? What about a "motion capture" technique? Ala Andy Serkis(LOTR and King Kong.)

Forget about Stretch Armstong or Etch-a-Sketch films! Contact your local Congressman, and demand that the next retro toy movie adaptation be THE OUTER SPACE MEN!