Hanks told TheWrap he would star in the film, to be directed by Zemeckis.
“I started tinkering with the story after 'Larry Crowne,'” Hanks said, referring to the 2011 film he wrote, directed and starred in with Julia Roberts.
Hanks said he has co-written the astronaut story, with Graham Yost ("Speed").
The character of Major Matt Mason is based on astronaut toy that hit the market in 1966, prior to the first manned moon mission.
Universal is handling domestic rights on the film, according to a studio representative. The project is being shopped to potential buyers during the run up to the American Film Market.
AFM is seeing an increasing number of high-profile films handled by veteran sales companies that can leverage foreign financing to help get a film made. "Major Matt Mason" is an especially high-profile film to go that route.
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Universal has been one of the most proactive Hollywood studios in bringing in foreign distribution partners to offset the risk and cost involved in making films.
The story is set on the moon, following a team of people based at a space station. Yost told Reuters in an interview: “There's no bad guys. There are no aliens. Nothing like that. It's just, can you survive?"
Hanks and Zemeckis have teamed on a number of films, including “Forrest Gump" and “The Polar Express.”