Paramount has tapped Bad Boys for Life co-writer Chris Bremner to write their upcoming M.A.S.K. movie. The Fate of the Furious and Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray has been attached to helm the project for nearly two years now. It is believed Gray will still direct the long-awaited movie, though no production start has been revealed. Gray is also on board as a producer for the movie, which is based on the iconic 1980s cartoon and toy line.
M.A.S.K. stands for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand and was launched as a cartoon series and toy line in 1985. A live-action movie has been in development for years now and for a while, it looked like it had been placed on the backburner. However, now that Chris Bremner has been brought on, it appears that Hasbro and Paramount are ready to finally move forward with the project. It's unclear what direction Bremner will take the story, but with he and F. Gary Gray on board, it's pretty much guaranteed to be action-packed.
The heroes of M.A.S.K. fought against V.E.N.O.M. (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem) in the cartoon series. The human characters drove vehicles, which were like Transformers. They would put on their respective masks and the vehicles would change into something else. For instance, a motorcycle easily turned into a helicopter, while the Thunderhawk car turned into a jet. The show was quite popular for a few years until it went from fighting terrorism into race car driving. From there, the show and the toys began to fade from popularity.
It has been reported that F. Gary Gray was attracted to M.A.S.K. because it is a vintage property which can easily be brought into a contemporary world. It's the goal of Hasbro and Paramount to "hatch a contemporary subculture movie with a youth empowerment angle," which sounds like a great idea for the movie. With that being said, it sounds like the characters may take on a younger identity, which will differ a bit from the source material. Hopefully Scott Trakker and T-Bob will be involved in some capacity. T-Bob is a robot who turned into a scooter in the cartoon. If the character is brought on, hopefully they won't make him look like a toilet like he does in the original cartoon series.
Chris Bremner is coming off the fresh success of Bad Boys for Life, which has earned nearly $400 million globally. The movie is still in the top ten after hitting theaters in the middle of January. Bremner has also been tapped to write the long-awaited National Treasure 3, so he is pretty busy at the moment. Now that there is a writer and director in place, M.A.S.K. should head into the next phase of development. A cast announcement and production start should be announced any time now. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to announce the M.A.S.K. news.