At least five suitors want actor to say yes
When Tom Cruise became attached last week to play a Russian spy in the David Cronenberg-directed adaptation of the Robert Ludlum thriller “The Matarese Circle,” the MGM pic became just one of several films vying for his next slot.With his career now steered by a team headed by CAA’s Kevin Huvane, Cruise has been more proactive and aggressive than in past years about meeting studio execs and showing interest in a flurry of projects. There are at least five suitors trying to get Cruise to say yes. The concerted courtship of Cruise comes at a time when studios are thinking long and hard about which actors deserve to be paid superstar gross deals. After a couple of rough years that threatened to knock him from that payday perch, Cruise has changed things. And execs have said their enthusiasm for the actor returned after “Valkyrie” did better than expected around the world, and that no major star except Will Smith tubthumps a movie as hard as Cruise. The top three candidates for Cruise’s next slot appear to be:
- “Matarese,” which also has Denzel Washington attached, and will soon get a rewrite by Cronenberg.
- “The Tourist,” the Spyglass remake that would co-star Charlize Theron. A rewrite was turned in this week by Christopher McQuarrie, who co-wrote and produced “Valkyrie” with Cruise, and whose script work was informed by long talks with Cruise as they barnstormed publicity on the UA WWII film.
- “Motorcade,” the Len Wiseman-directed DreamWorks thriller that pits the U.S. president against terrorists who commandeer his motorcade on the streets of Los Angeles. Billy Ray is racing to complete a rewrite of the script, with Cruise’s input.