Back on Cruise Control

I’m not much of an Oprah Winfrey watcher — that’s my girlfriend — but I’d guess that if you asked Oprah what her most famous episode was, it would be the couch episode. The episode Tom Cruise officially was declared insane by the general public. It was before Redstone dropped him, before his Scientology roots began to be his exploitation, and before he fell off the map to return only for the passable “Lions for Lambs”.

So maybe Oprah felt bad for all that, and as a result, her pity leaves us with an entire episode dedicated to Tom Cruise’s 25 years in leading roles. Yes, it’s been 25 years since “Risky Business”, and if you didn’t have Oprah reminding you, maybe you came across Cruise’s launch of a personal website dedicated to the anniversary.

In a bit of irony, or planned PR-genius, Viacom’s boss Sumner Redstone announced yesterday that if Paramount wants Tom Cruise in the next Mission Impossible, he would not object. Don’t look now, but slowly Tom Cruise’s life is coming back together.

Next in cinema for Mr. Cruise: A starring role in Valkyrie, a WWII story about a plan to assassinate Hitler. Brian Singer, of “The Usual Suspects” fame, returns to make his first non-superhero movie since another Nazi movie, “Apt Pupil” in 1998.

Cruise also, apparently, has a cameo in Ben Stiller’s newest writer/director project, Tropic Thunder, Stiller’s first since “Zoolander”. Stiller and Cruise are hoping to team together in 2009 on Hardy Men, an updated version of “The Hardy Boys” from action screenwriter Simon Kinberg. Shawn Levy, who worked with Stiller on “Night at the Museum”, has signed on to direct.

It’s nice to have friends, eh Tom?


2 Responses to Back on Cruise Control

  1. Jon says:

    I actually saw that episode, and what eventually hit me is that this dude doesn’t have an Oscar. He’s turned in some fine performances over the years — my personal favorite in “Magnolia,” where he’s the machoistic pussy fiend — and the lack of Academy gold has to be weighing heavily on his mind.

  2. Bryan says:

    Yeah, I think it’s bad timing, mostly. I think his best chance had to be “Born on the Fourth of July”, which of course came the same year as Daniel Day-Lewis’ first Oscar. One of his other great lead performances was in “The Last Samurai” which came in a loaded year with Sean Penn winning narrowly over Bill Murray. Cruise was not nominated. I think he could have had a couple supportings, especially between “Magnolia” and “Rainman”. Although I suppose he was a lead in that, too.

    The Academy did like him enough to nominate him for “Jerry Maguire”, which I find pretty funny.

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