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Tom Cruise to Run United Artists Film Studio

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Completing a vertiginous year that has seen him ascend to stratospheric personal heights of giddy love and fatherhood, and plummet to depths of public ignominy and professional rejection, Tom Cruise and his film-producing partner Paul Wagner were named the new heads of the United Artists film studio today.

The sweet deal gives the pair — whose film productions include the Mission:Impossible movies, War of the Worlds, and The Last Samurai — complete control of the studio's production slate, expected to be about four films a year, and allows Cruise to appear in films from other studios. Wagner will rule the roost as chief executive of the storied company, owned since 1981 by MGM but founded in 1919 as a haven for artistes by D.W. Griffith and actors Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks.

Cruise and Wagner Cruise hit biz-bottom in August when his and Wagner's 14-year producing deal with Paramount was not renewed by the studio. Sumner Redstone, chairman of Paramount parent company Viacom Inc., publicly blamed Cruise's bizarre behavior — his unhinged love declarations for Katie Holmes on Oprah and elsewhere, his dogmatic defense of the more contentious aspects of Scientology, in particular the wholesale rejection of psychiatry and medication — for suppressing public enthusiasm for their Mission:Impossible III film, a "disappointment" at the box office, even though it generated over $390 million worldwide.

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

Putting it even more bluntly, Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall slammed Cruise's behavior in an '05 Time magazine interview. "His whole behavior is so shocking. It's inappropriate and vulgar and absolutely unacceptable to use your private life to sell anything commercially, but I think it's kind of a sickness," she said.

Cruise and Wagner 2 Apparently UA/MGM felt otherwise. "There is a complete alignment of interests in this deal," MGM chief operating officer Rick Sands told the AP today. "They are equity owners in the company and they share with us in the upside."

UA — home of such classics as Some Like It Hot, Midnight Cowboy, the Rocky, Pink Panther, and James Bond series, and Rain Man, which co-starred Cruise and won four Oscars in 1988 — has been mostly dormant of late, which Sands expects Cruise and Wagner to change dramatically, saying the pair is free to make big budget action films starring Cruise, and low budget arty flicks as well. "It really depends on what they as the creative executives want to produce," Sands said. "It's a real studio that we are reinventing."

Sands doesn't care about that wacky Scientology/love freak stuff either. "We believe Tom is a terrific creative force," Sands said. "If you look at his track record, he's generated huge box office and we believe the relationship of being a partner is different from a studio/actor relationship."

Sounding a similar note, MGM chairman and chief executive, Harry Sloan, told the New York Times that Creative Artists Agency, the Hollywood talent giant representing Cruise and a number of the industry's biggest stars, would be actively involved in United Artists’ future. "The studios and talent don’t trust each other. We need to start a dialogue."

"The talent friendly studio will be reborn as a place where producers, writers, directors and actors can thrive in a creative environment," sang out MGM's written announcement regarding the deal today.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joan Hunt

    I’m tellin’ ya, Cruise’s split with Paramount was a bold and calculated move on his part. Up the crazy and watch ‘em fire you, come back with a huge deal allowing you greater latitude and creative control. Who wins in this equation? Cruise.

    It’s a payoff on a plan set in motion a couple years ago and only recently accelerated to coincide with his dnarrowing window of opportunity.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    There goes the stock prices. UA will be bankrupt within 24 months.

  • Eric Olsen

    crazy like a fox, eh?

    UA is just a unit of MGM now – actually, from a purely business standpoint, Cruise’s record is pretty good.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Charlie Chaplin is spinning silently in his grave.

    Dave

  • Marcie

    Wha tif Tom made a movie and nobody came?

  • darlene sammarco

    I’m creating a video documentary on psychiatric
    forced institutionalization, forced drugs, video of psychiatric abuse, including Clozaril death of my grandson Jona, use of my daughter in ECT/ Clozaril Research without her consent, causing a seizure disorder and heart attack, and videos of other victims of psychiatric torture. I have been friends with Scientology staff for years.[Holly, Carley, Brenda in Minneapolis. I can send you a Video trailer of :Swimming With Sharks in Minnesota if you are interested.
    If interested,I’ll send you a video “trailer”.]

  • darlene sammarco

    I’m creating a video documentary on psychiatric
    forced institutionalization, forced drugs, video of psychiatric abuse, including Clozaril death of my grandson Jona, use of my daughter in ECT/ Clozaril Research without her consent, causing a seizure disorder and heart attack, and videos of other victims of psychiatric torture. I have been friends with Scientology staff for years.[Holly, Carley, Brenda in Minneapolis. I can send you a Video trailer of :Swimming With Sharks in Minnesota if you are interested.
    If interested,I’ll send you a video “trailer”.]

  • KELLIE MCKERNAN

    As for tom cruise, He is a copy of clones,
    And steals ID from innocent people.
    Minors, and Brain washes. From his background…. He covers him self up by sabbatage. And his Unted Artist will never
    make a go of it. He is to stay out of Michigan. and a way from my children

  • KELLIE MCKERNAN

    One more thing Jeff Daniels in 1986, In Michigan…. And the whole Michigan thing with him and with CT. Paul Newman, His
    scienctology in sturgis , and Battle creek.
    And the torture and the pain.
    He is so sick….He cloned my son, Daniel Mckernan. To look sick, And then hired a man from Michigan to star in a up coming movie.He is dangerous, And a murder….
    Look up Daniel Mckernan. It is a cult.
    We don’t want him in Michigan……
    He is so sick….

  • KELLIE MCKERNAN

    One more thought, He ruin my career in acting for the past 10 years. And made me look crazy, by mind games. To cover up his
    Illegal activity. Tracey Ross from the soap opera Passions…
    Made me homeless, And the Days of thunder hit show. Opera show, In chicago knew he
    for 20 years screwed up my career, my sister
    in law Gabi manga went to chicago to the opera show. and sabbatage me while I was on a bike.He is a mean and indictive human being…. And he knew about casablancas
    In Plymouth Michigan in 1986. And the Jiffy Market
    with Howie Holmes, The Race Car Driver.
    He is going to be destroyed….
    For destroying my life.
    Mr. Dairy Queen 5,000 to a free person he did’nt know.
    He watched me stave, and ride a bike like a white slave….

  • Kellie Mckernan

    I did not post those comments….