A Brief Look at Tom Cruise's Next Few Possible Roles
by Alex Billington
February 19, 2009
Everyone is proclaiming that "Tom Cruise is back!" But was he ever gone? Variety has put together a comprehensive article looking a Tom Cruise's upcoming projects and tries to decipher which of them may happen and which will be put on hold. Apparently Cruise has "been more proactive and aggressive than in past years about meeting studio execs and showing interest in a flurry of projects." I wonder if this is due to the respect he gained from Tropic Thunder? Subsequently, the studios have been getting ansy, because Cruise's involvement usually means lots of box office cash. Let's take a look at his next few projects.
The Matarese Circle - Directed by David Cronenberg and written by Derek Haas and Michael Brandt (Wanted), with a rewrite by Cronenberg. We just announced last week that Cruise had been cast in this adaptation of Robert Ludlum's novel. Cruise would play Vasili Taleniekov, one of two arch-enemy spies who are forced into a distrustful collaboration against a wide-reaching political conspiracy orchestrated by a mysterious organization called the Matarese. Denzel Washington would play the other spy.
The Tourist - Directed by Bharat Nalluri and written by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), with a rewrite by Christopher McQuarrie (Valkyrie). Remake of the French thriller Anthony Zimmer from 2005. Charlize Theron will play an Interpol agent who uses an American tourist, played by Cruise, in an attempt to flush out an elusive criminal with whom she once had an affair. Cruise's involvement was announced late last year and at the time it was expected that this would be his next project, however that may not be the case.
Motorcade - Directed by Len Wiseman and written by Billy Ray (Breach). A DreamWorks thriller that pits the US president against terrorists who commandeer his motorcade on the streets of Los Angeles. This is the first time we've heard about Cruise being involved in this project. So much so that he's apparently working with Ray on the script as well.
Lost for Words - Directed by Susanne Bier and co-written by Jamie Curtis and Dan Mazer. A romantic comedy from Universal in which Cruise would play an actor who gets into a love triangle with his beautiful Chinese director and the filmmaker's jealous translator. Hugh Grant was originally going to take on the same role, but Cruise may fill his spot instead. Zhang Ziyi attached to play the fictional filmmaker that Cruise falls in love with. Cruise isn't officially attached to this yet, but is supposedly interested in it.
Wichita - A comedy from 20th Century Fox where Cruise would play an undercover agent who gets thrown together with a woman who has "man trouble." Cruise is not officially attached yet, but is being pursued, with Cameron Diaz also being pursued to play his counterpart.
The Hardy Men - Directed by Shawn Levy and written by Ed Solomon (Men in Black). Fox just announced last week that Solomon had been hired to take a crack at the script, which is an adult comedic parody of the popular "The Hardy Boys" series of books. Cruise has been attached to this project for a while, along with Ben Stiller, and Fox is hoping to keep him on board by the time it eventually gets the greenlight, which might be a while considering Solomon has yet to write the script.
The Champions - Originally written by Guillermo del Toro, with Christopher McQuarrie (Valkyrie) writing the latest draft. A feature adaptation of the British TV series about a team of government agents rescued from a plane crash in the Himalayas by an advanced civilization and given superhuman abilities. Cruise took an interest in the project while shooting Valkyrie with McQuarrie and became attached back in December. In development at United Artists, but without a director it's not going too far.
So out of these six projects, what will Tom Cruise be doing next? Studios "expect" (read that as "hope") that Cruise will do two movies this year. And it's also likely that he'll be doing The Champions next year. When the news about Cruise's involvement in The Matarese Circle hit last week, it seemed apparent that that would be his very next project, with shooting scheduled to start a bit later this year. Ideally, I'd love to see Cruise do Matarese, then maybe a comedy like Lost for Words, then Champions as planned, although The Tourist sounds really good, too. Too many projects to choose from! Which ones do you like best?