Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Par Cuts Ties with Tom Cruise

Paramount cuts ties with Tom Cruise: WSJ

Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures unit is ending its 14-year relationship with Tom Cruise's film production company because of the actor's offscreen behavior, the company's chairman said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Sumner Redstone, Viacom chairman, said the behavior of the star of the "Mission: Impossible" series and "Top Gun" was unacceptable to the company, according to the Wall Street Journal story e-mailed to reporters.

Cruise, one of Hollywood's biggest stars, has been known more recently for his antics on U.S. television talk shows, including jumping up and down on Oprah Winfrey's couch to declare his love for Katie Holmes and criticizing the use of antidepressant drugs.

"As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal," Redstone was quoted as saying in the Wall Street Journal. "His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount."

Cruise's representatives and officials from Viacom and Paramount did not have any immediate comment on the report.


Wow. Didn't see this comin (though it had been predicted). Clearly, though, it has almost nothing to do with Cruise's outlandish behavior and almost everything to do with MI:III's performance at the box office. (Though, I suppose, the case could be made that the former contributed to the latter.)

Also: probably not a wise career move to publicly extort the CEO of one of the largest, most powerful media conglomerates on the planet. Last spring, Cruise announced he would only promote the movie if Viacom (which owns Paramount and Comedy Central) took steps to suppress the infamous Scientology episode of South Park. In addition to making fun of his so-called religion, the episode in question mocked Cruise as a closet case. (Travolta, too.)



He won the battle--reruns of the episode in the States, and first-runs abroad, were cancelled--but lost the war, as his Cruise/Wagner shingle is now without a studio.

Of course, he'll land on his feet. He's not Mel Gibson. But it's a safe bet he's out of the $20M per picture club.

Ironically, Paramount also announced today that it has inked a deal for two live-action films with South Park creators Trey Parker & Matt Stone. (Ah--Timing. It really is everything.)

3 Comments:

Blogger Deborah said...

Heehee, oh goodness. Poor Tom. He's gone positively MAD!

8/23/06, 2:01 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Brilliant!

8/23/06, 9:32 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

He's gone positively MAD!<<

Is that what happens to Scientologists? Or do they come that way, no assembly required? (Related topic: are all celebrity Scientologists closet cases? I mean, Cruise, Travolta, Ribisi, van Susteren, etc... I'm just sayin'.)

8/23/06, 9:22 PM  

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