Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tom Cruise out of MI:4!!!

from ONTD:

It appears that Tom Cruise isn't putting all his eggs into the Valkyrie basket. Valkyrie, you'll recall, is the Bryan Singer-directed thriller in which Cruise plays a German officer who tried to assassinate Hitler. That project has hit some bumps on its way to theaters. Meanwhile, Cruise is also making an attempt to go back to his roots. But making that happen isn't simple: It seems that the Cruise camp recently reached out to Paramount about making Mission: Impossible 4 and got seriously disavowed.

Paramount's response was to ask whether Cruise would like to produce the film—as in, produce but not star in. And, since he's contractually guaranteed the right to produce such a film at this point, it wasn't much of an offer. This tells us not to read too much into that supposed rapprochement between Cruise and Sumner Redstone. And it suggests that the fighting between Cruise and Paramount studio chief Brad Grey over the deal for M:I3 was a lot more rancorous than we knew at the time.

We don't want to keep you in suspense: Cruise's answer was no. Our source tells us that Paramount met this with a shrug, since in the not-too-distant future the studio expects that it will be free, contractually, to make the movie without involving Cruise's production company. Some film executives say they think Paramount is being foolish, because they believe there is an avid audience for Cruise in this role. After all, the last one grossed about $400 million worldwide. (Maybe M:I4 could pair Cruise with Shia LaBoeuf as the young successor.) But Paramount seems to think it could relaunch the franchise with a young star and leave Cruise out of the equation.

*Tiny tom: PWND!*

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