Shrugging off concerns that Tom Cruise is a deranged Scientologist whose proclamations of cataclysmic love for young Katie Holmes on Oprah and elsewhere were either unhinged or improbable, new Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO Brad Grey announced yesterday that Mission: Impossible 3, starring the aforementioned toothy star and Ving Rhames, will commence principal photography on July 18th in Italy.
"Tom's history with Paramount has made for one of Hollywood's most successful relationships; the opportunity to continue our collaboration with him on Mission: Impossible 3 is everything anyone in show business could hope for. This has been a great franchise for Paramount Pictures and fantastic entertainment for moviegoers around the world. We're thrilled to be embarking on this exciting third Mission," said Grey, who assumed control of Paramount in March.
But how do you feel about Katie Holmes, Brad? (Free Katie?)
M:I 3 — produced by Cruise and his partner Paula Wagner, and directed by J. J. Abrams — is scheduled to be released next May and is expected to cost as much as $150 million to make. Cruise will once again star as Special Agent Ethan Hunt in the third installment of the film series based upon the '60s secret agent-disguises-and-explosions TV series. M:I 1 and MI: 2 grossed $456 million and $546 million, respectively, at box offices worldwide.
Cruise also stars in Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, which will hit screens later this month; and Holmes is featured in Batman Begins, which premiered Monday at Grauman's Chinese in Hollywood with Cruise proving a not reticent guest.
And speaking of guesting, Cruise appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno last night, mocking his own overabundance of exuberance regarding Miss Holmes on Oprah. He's sticking with his love story, though: "It's a thing that I wish for everyone," he said of being in love. "I like hearing good news ... I'm just really happy. She's a terrific lady. She's a great lady."