Inside Move: Stars go for taste of ‘Vanilla’

Cruise, Cruz and Diaz commit to Crowe romance

Now it can be told: Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz will open their eyes in Cameron Crowe’s “Vanilla Sky.”

Outside of being a romance, the content of “Vanilla Sky” had been kept under tight wraps. Pic will be an adaptation of the Spanish-language romantic thriller “Abre los ojos” (“Open Your Eyes,”), a 1997 film that was written and directed by Alejandro Amenabar and starred Cruz.

“Open Your Eyes,” which Artisan Entertainment released stateside in 1998, was a complex story that combined romance and revenge with a “Matrix”-like twist.

In “Open,” a rich womanizer falls in love with his best friend’s girlfriend. The next day, he is in a car with a previous — and fiercely jealous — conquest, who commits suicide by driving the car into a tree. The bachelor survives the crash, but with his face hideously disfigured. Soon, however, his luck seems to change completely: the friend’s girl declares her love for him and the doctors are suddenly able to rebuild his face. However, when strange and horrible things begin to happen, he starts to realize that his life has taken on a turn beyond his control.

The project has long been a passion for Cruise; his Par-based company C/W Prods. bought the film’s English-language remake rights from foreign sales and production company Summit Entertainment in 1998.

The dark and surreal tone of “Vanilla Sky” will be quite a departure for Crowe, who has made his name writing and directing thoughtful romantic comedies like the current “Almost Famous,” his previous Cruise collaboration “Jerry Maguire” and “Say Anything.” “Vanilla Sky” will also be the first time that Crowe adapts a screenplay to direct rather than writing an original script.

For Cruise, however, “Vanilla Sky” will carry some of the same themes of love, jealousy and consequences that he began to explore in Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut.”

To bring it all full circle: Amenabar is currently helming his English-language debut, the sci-fi horror pic “The Others,” for Miramax. It stars Cruise’s wife, Nicole Kidman.

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