Tom Cruise - actor, legend, husband, father, religious icon and couch jumper.
Love him or loathe him, Cruise has had an incredible career and you have to admit that his place in film history is secure. However in the last few years the star has had a bit of a rough time, not only from the press, but also by the head honchos in Hollywood.
This week has seen a flurry of Tom Cruise related news, and as Screen Rant's main Cruise supporter and apologist it has come down to me to report it.
We have seen Valkyrie's release date change (again), Cruise drop out of Edwin A. Salt, the star realize that he has a love of comedy - as well as thriller and his friend/ mentor Paula Wagner was booted from the United Artists lot.
Following several test screenings of Cruise's Nazi thriller Valkyrie, MGM has decided to move the release date forward to December 26th. The film has been moved all over the release schedules, with the last date being set for Valentine's day 2009 - but it would appear that the studio wants to show the film some Oscar love. Another reason for the move is that the tests went so well that the studio feels that they could have a major hit on their hands and they want to maximise box office potential over the holiday season.
For the past few months Cruise has also shown a major interest in spy-thriller Edwin A. Salt, a film that is to be directed by Phillip Noyce. However, it would appear that Cruise didn't like the film enough to commit and now the film is being retooled as a starring vehicle for Angelina Jolie!
It seems like Tropic Thunder has unleashed Cruise's love of comedy as the actor is now in talks to star in chef-comedy Food Fight. The Steven Brill directed film would see Cruise star as a high class chef who is forced to cook in a school cafeteria. High-jinks will obviously ensue and I presume that a lesson will be learned.
Cruise has also shown an interest in The Tourist, a remake of a French thriller from 2005. Bharat Nalluri will direct the film which has been written by Gosford Park's Julian Fellows.
Meanwhile, Paula Wagner - Cruise's producing partner and Chief of United Artists has quit her post. Depending on who you believe Wagner was either fired or quit in order to return to her first love of producing.
According to Deadline Hollywood's Nikki Finke - Wagner's indecision on pulling the trigger on film production was major factor in her departure. Her lack of green lighting put the $500 million funding package in jeopardy, leaving the studio no other option but to fire Wagner, move the release date of Valkyrie and greenlight several films.
Wagner had this to say:
"I’ve truly relished working with my longtime partner Tom Cruise to revitalize United Artists, and I am proud of all that we’ve accomplished in the past two years, reinvigorating the brand and developing such a strong slate of films," she said. "But I always tell my sons, ‘Follow your passion’ — and I’ve got to follow that advice myself. As much as I’ve enjoyed my time as an executive, I have longed to return to my true love, which is making movies, so that’s what I’ve decided to do. I still believe in our vision for UA, and I am confident that Harry Sloan and our colleagues at MGM will see that vision through to reality."
What a week for Tom Cruise.
We will have more on these films when (and if) they move forward in development.
Sources: Variety, Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood