What do we do with Tom Cruise in this day and age? Fucked if I know. I do know that the reports of his cinematic demise are greatly exaggerated. Outlets everywhere were claiming that Paramount wouldn’t bring him back for MI:4 because of the lackluster performance of Knight and Day. His career was on the ropes!
Yeah, likely not. Look, here’s the thing: Tom Cruise is fucking crazy. I mean really, really pants-shittingly, cat-throwingly, alien-worshippingly bugfuck crazy. But the dude is always going to be a draw, and if Knight and Day failed, I don’t know that the blame can be dumped solely on his shoulders. It’s a decent, if uninspired, summer popcorn flick, weighed down by a mediocre Cameron Diaz performance and a misleading ad campaign (not to mention a title that has nothing to do with the fucking movie).
Regardless, the news about the fourth entry in the Mission: Impossible series has been sputtering for a while that Cruise will take a reduced role, that he’ll be more of a mentor to the new blood than a star, or that he simply won’t be in it at all. Now, reports are that he will indeed be coming back, with Paramount ice chairman Rob Moore claiming “We absolutely are excited about having Tom Cruise star in this movie.”
This should surprise no one. The series has been an immense cash cow for Paramount, with the entries grossing $457,696,359 for the first entry, and inexplicable $546,388,105 for the atrocious second one, and $397,850,012 for my favorite, the JJ Abrams-directed third one (those are worldwide grosses). And people have been getting into the seats not out of some sense of nostalgia for the original ’60s television series, but for Cruise, plain and simple.
Now, all of that said, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be some sort of mentor/new blood scenario in the fourth one — it makes sense from both a storytelling as well as a business sense. Cruise can’t be Ethan Hunt forever (although at 48 years old, he’s not slowing down much), and bringing on a new face certainly can’t hurt. Part of what made the last entry so entertaining is that it had one of the better teams assembled, so following that trend, plus adding in a potential replacement, is a savvy decision. Regardless, Cruise will indeed be Ethan Hunt again. Now if they can only get JJ Abrams to come back.
OK, this was a lot of numbers and dry speculation, so those of you who stuck around deserve a Mission Impossible-related treat. Don’t tell the others or I’ll kill you.
Don’t you assholes ever say I never gave you anything.
(source: Dark Horizons)