Did Tom Cruise get a raw deal?

162659__tcruise_lHow many people buy Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone’s assertion that it was Tom Cruise’s antics — most of which took place before his studio greenlit Mission: Impossible III — that led Paramount not to renew its production deal with the actor? Movie City News’ David Poland suggests that many reporters have gotten this story wrong (my favorite ridiculous theory: that Redstone cut Cruise loose because the actor’s Brooke Shields-bashing had alienated Mrs. Redstone), and that Redstone has craftily played everyone, making himself look like a hero in boardrooms in Hollywood and on Wall Street for appearing to rein in out-of-control talent. After all, Paramount could have just issued the standard press release citing ”creative differences” and saying, ”We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Instead, Redstone has effectively undermined the authority of Paramount studio chief Brad Grey (who finally broke his media silence to insist that business will go on as usual with major industry players) and Paramount/DreamWorks big shot Steven Spielberg, both of whom appeared to have been blindsided by Redstone’s public spanking of Cruise. The recent statement by A-list talent agency CAA (which represents Cruise) suggesting that no one is minding the store at Paramount may echo a wider sentiment throughout Hollywood.

Cruise, on the other hand, has actually played this the right way, largely by keeping his yap shut. Sure, the couch-jumper has stirred up plenty of ill will (though if this second-hand account is true, he’s finally sorry about the Brooke-bashing). And yes, the Cruise camp’s claim that they’ve secured $100 million in private financing seems premature; it’s certainly news to Cruise’s own lawyer. Still, does anyone doubt that Cruise will find a lucrative deal somewhere else eventually? He still sells tickets and DVDs worldwide. Even if Paramount wouldn’t meet his terms, someone else will.
Honestly, I can’t believe I’m defending Tom Cruise, especially after the way he bristled last summer when I dared to mention aliens and Scientology to him in the same breath at a War of the Worlds press conference. But when even Matt Lauer thinks Cruise is the victim of a double standard, it appears that it’s time to join Team Cruise — at least until he tries to make us laugh on purpose.

addCredit(“Tom Cruise: Jun Sato/ WireImage.com”)

Comments (69 total) Add your comment
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  • Will Holston

    well, still don’t like him, though

  • Ed

    …still don’t like him but I love that suit!

  • d.c.

    Let’s see .. people liked the movie but HATE him., his controlling and braggart ways. Can’t argue NOW he is hated and scorned and that will greatly affect his future money making career if people refuse to see the movie in order to punish and reject him.

  • Mario

    I refuse to pay to see any of his movies; usually, I catch them on TBS, TNT, USA or whatever other free channel decides to show his lame @ss movies.

  • Sweet Love

    There are hypocrites and liars conveying bits of truth from every end of this mini-drama. My vote for the worst offender goes to the notoriously thin-skinned Dave Poland, mentioned in Susman’s post, who has compiled a long record of brainless and vicious attacks on what seems like every journalist or entertainment report that doesn’t originate from his website or conform to his views. (Not to draw too much attention his way, but you can check out Poland’s intolerably obnoxious video blogs for some whiney examples.) Poland has once again tried to gain the contrarian spotlight by bleating to anyone who will listen that there’s no story here. Sensible people interested in the entertainment biz know that’s just plain nonsense.

  • bub

    He is annoying and controlling and FAKE. He should have kept his mouth shut. Go back to Zenu!

  • GranLuv

    I like him but he needs to grow up. He is no different than any other male his age. He is just in the public eye. He has probably learned a bitter lesson about knowing when to keep his mouth shut. One can only hope. He is human and we should all just give him a break as we would do for a friend or family member.

  • gabe

    Many, many years from now, the mention of Tom Cruise’s name will remind people not of his talent or his movies but his quirkiness (read…weirdness) and that, my friends, is what I call poetic justice.

  • kevin

    Hell, no. If the Dixie Chicks can get death threats for what they said, then getting fired isn’t so bad. Tom alienated his most ardent fans (females) with his insensitive and stupid comments about post-pardom. He should have to either apology for it or suffer the consequences!

  • cj

    i don’t have to like him,i realize that he will always get the best scripts.he just needs to shutup and work.

  • Marnie

    regardless of what Paramount or the public think of Tom Cruise or his Scientologist ways, M:I:3 was fun, and made a decent amount of money–400 million more than I have in my bank account. So if Paramount doesn’t think that’s enough, that’s their business. But I’d still let Tom and L. Ron make a movie in my backyard if they brought me back 400 mil.

  • Jess B.

    Betcha’ that Tom’s new backing comes from Scientology. I can’t wait for him to make a Scientology-themed, Hubbard-penned box office bomb, just like that one craptastic Travolta movie. That, my friends, would be comic gold.
    And raw deal or not, Tom Cruise is a self-righteous jerk who deserves to be knocked down a peg! He had it comin’!

  • Earl

    Although some of his behavior and comments have been inappropriate or baffling, I still like Cruise. The guy is a fantastic actor, and, yes, a good guy, I hope.
    When he filmed Last Samuari here in New Zealand, he was known to give stuff back to the locals and help out with fixing peoples spare tires and whatnot.
    Mel Gibson hasn’t lost his Disney deal yet, and I gotta think what he’s said and done is considered his far more destructive than anything Cruise has done.
    Lets not forget Cruise had already jumped on couches by the time War Of The Worlds opened last year and made mega bucks, and its not like Mission: Impossible III tanked. Sure, it underperformed, but so did Superman, Snakes On A Plane, Miami Vice, among others.
    I heard a poll result recently from some source saying that the general public aren’t nowhere near as anti-Cruise as the media is. The guy is still one of the sure things in the business, and Paramount will realize that when his next movie for a different company goes through the roof.

  • Kim

    Love Tom Cruise he can do NO wrong.

  • Jill

    The difference between MI:3 and the other films that underperformed is the terms of Cruise’s deal. He didn’t just get a $25 million paycheck, he gets 20% of the box office ($75 million for MI:3), cut of the DVD sales and a bunch of other production perks. His deal is absolutely massive, and it made sense when he was, all by himself, a monstrously huge draw. Because of his antics and also because, let’s be blunt, he is aging, his draw has diminished and will continue to do so. Whatever you think about how Redstone handled it, Paramount’s decision made fiscal sense.

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