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February 13, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 13, 2009 |

Say what you want about Tom Cruise, but I stand by my assertion that the crazy in his brain doesn’t extend to choosing projects. The man knows how to pick a script, and as a result, his movies usually succeed in spite of him. He can best be described as the most serviceable actor in Hollywood. He’s literally a blank chunk of flesh with big, gleaming teeth that can fit into nearly any drama that needs a regular-looking white dude. He’s easy to hate, but hard to ignore. Dig?

Anyway, he’s done it again: Cruise has signed on to a project damn near guaranteed to do well, whether he couch jumps, assaults Matt Lauer, or slimes America with his toothy Thetan energy. He’s currently in negotiations to join the cast of The Materese Circle, which sounds like a remake. But it’s not. It’s an adaptation of a Robert Ludlum novel (Ludlum, as you know, is responsible for the Bourne books). Better yet, Cruise will play a villain, which he proved he could do in his best role to date, Michael Mann’s Collateral. Granted, he’ll be playing a Russian villain, so we’ll finally get to see how he works a foreign accent (despite all the rumors, he didn’t actually try out a German accent in Valkyrie).

And how do I know most of the world will go see The Materese Cicle in spiderface of Cruise? Because he’ll be playing opposite Denzel Washington, and no one can resist the powers of Denzel. But wait! There’s more. Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington just a little too mainstream for you? You need a little edge to your conspiracy thrillers. Well, here you go: The Matarese Circle will be directed by David Cronenberg. You know: That crazy fucker who brought us not only The Fly and The History of Violence, but Crash and Dead Ringers. It’s got a little bit for everyone to love, and a little bit for everyone to hate. But love/hate all sort of cancels itself out, and you’re left with Denzel.

The logline, via Variety: “Cruise will go mano a mano with Washington as two bitter enemy spies who, after spending two decades trying to kill each other, grudgingly team up against the Matarese, a powerful group at the root of a conspiracy.”

Also, Pajiba favorites, Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (Wanted, 3:10 to Yuma) will be writing the script. Who knew that, when Dan scored an interview with those two a couple of years ago, that they’d become the biggest screenwriting team this side of Christopher and Jonathan Nolan?

Cruise Represses Crazy for Another Decent Project / Dustin Rowles

Industry | February 13, 2009 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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