80s nostalgia is still going strong, and until the 30 year cycle leads to 90s nostalgia becoming the next big trend (it may have already begun), studios will continue cashing in on as many 80s products as they can, even if they aren’t considered widely popular. What else could explain Paramount choosing to develop a franchise based on the M.A.S.K toys?
The term stands for Mobile Armoured Strike Kommand and was led by Matt Trakker, who was tasked with defeating the criminal organisation V.E.N.O.M (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem, naturally). The toys got their own spin off video games and animated series back then, and now Paramount is teaming with Hasbro to turn them into a franchise, and have tasked F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) to direct.
Per Deadline, along with directing the project, Gray will produce and develop it, and the studio will “move quickly to set a writer to hatch a contemporary subculture movie with a youth empowerment angle”.
It can be hard to get excited about a project that feels so transparent in its attempt to harvest nostalgia and IP that consumers already recognise, but we’ve been surprised before, and this project is unlikely to resemble the original animated series or video games much anyway.
Plus, with Gray on board, there’s at least a director involved that has proven to have a clear vision in his films. Hopefully he can craft something interesting and make M.A.S.K more than just a soulless cash-in.