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"Apollo 13" Hits Really Big Screen

In his directoral debut, John Hughes made a teen star of Molly Ringwald with 1984's "Sixteen Candles" about a girl's nightmarish birthday on the eve of her sister's wedding.
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Prepare for blastoff – again.

"Apollo 13," the 1995 box office hit starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard, is coming to the big screen - the really big screen – this weekend. The first live action feature to be transformed into the IMAX format, "Apollo 13" opens Friday at IMAX theaters across the country.

In a report for The Early Show," Bob Goen of "Entertainment Tonight" talked to Hanks about what it was like to see himself up on the very big screen.

"I always assume that I look something like a cross between William Holden and Freddy Prinze Jr," Hanks joked, "and I don't look anything like either one of those guys and it's a constant disappointment to me."

Not one to revisit his films, Hanks said he had a hard time seeing himself on the eight-story-high screen.

"I mean you're used to your head being big up there on a screen, but when your teeth are as big as your head, that's pretty large," he said.

Hanks isn't sure exactly whose idea it was but thinks the impetus for putting "Apollo 13" into IMAX format came from the IMAX people themselves.

"Take your medicine at the IMAX, you know, you're gonna learn something about otters and space stations," Hanks joked.

The movie, based on the true story of the accident-prone 1970 Apollo 13 mission, made $172 million when it was first released, so it does not have to make money this time around.

"What was very tantalizing about it from the IMAX perspective is they said this movie will play for 30 years, and will play for 30 years in this pristine format," Hanks said.

The movie's director, Ron Howard, thinks it's the perfect fit for Imax.

"You know to be sitting here talking to you about it, and believe that people are going to experience it either again or for the first time in that amazing format, that's just an absolute gift," Howard said.

Hanks also thinks it may be the beginning of a trend.

"I was sitting there thinking that I would love to see what Steve Soderbergh or Marty Scorcese or Steven Spielberg would do if they're releasing a movie on IMAX," he said.

Hanks is riding high right now. He's up for an Emmy this Sunday for his "Band of Brothers" mini-series on HBO. His new film "Road To Perdition" has generated Oscar buzz and he and his wife, Rita Wilson, also have had incredible success with "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," a film they produced, tearing up the box office charts