Will Tom Cruise Get the Last Laugh?
One year after he was publicly fired by Paramount Pictures for his erratic behavior Scientologist Tom Cruise is in Germany filming his highly anticipated Bryan Singer project "Valkyrie" (to be released 08/08/08) as the head of the resurrected United Artists studio recently injected with $500 million, while the Hollywood power couple responsible for his firing may be headed for a bitter divorce.
Almost one year ago Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone fired Tom Cruise after 14 years of cooperation and hundreds of million of dollars in box office revenue because, as he put it, Tom's recent behavior (including jumping on Oprah Winfrey's couch, attacking Brooke Shields because of her use of antidepressants, etc.) hurt box office results of the studio's costly "Mission Impossible 3."
Redstone (84) later explained his wife Paula Fortunato (44) a former schoolteacher (because of whom he divorced his first wife Phyllis in 2002 after 52 years of marriage) influenced him in his decision because she believed Cruise's behavior was unacceptable and she, as the rest of the country, began to hate him. One year later, the couple appear to be headed for a nasty divorce.
Meanwhile, Tom Cruise and his business partner Paula Wagner made a deal with MGM late last year to resurrect the flatlining United Artists movie studio (known for Pink Panther, Rocky and James Bond franchises) and, with the blessing from Merril Lynch worth $500 million, manage the studio and oversee the production of new blockbusters, many of which will star Tom Cruise.
The studio's first project is the new Robert Redford movie "Lions for Lambs" (out November 9, 2007) starring Redford, Cruise and Meryl Streep which was filmed earlier this year on the campuses of Claremont Colleges in California.
In the movie, injuries sustained by two Army ranger behind enemy lines in Afghanistan set off a sequence of events involving a congressman (Cruise), a journalist (Streep) and a professor (Redford).
Cruise is currently filming his summer 2008 movie "Valkyrie" in which he plays Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg "the good Nazi" who was one of the leading figures of the failed July 20 Plot of 1944 to kill German dictator Adolf Hitler.
Both projects are fairly inexpensive compared to Tom Cruise's previous blockbusters ("Lions for Lambs" cost only $35 million to produce, "Valkyrie" will cost $80 million). But if Cruise's United "Screw You Sumner Redstone" Artists project is a success, the controversial Scientologist will be getting his last laugh.