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Tom Cruise Cut from Paramount: Who Will Laugh Last?

Cruise_2Viacom's Sumner Redstone issues a memo announcing the studio has severed their relationship with Tom Cruise:

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

Paula Wagner, Cruise's producing partner responded that it has been "a dream of Tom and mine" to set up an independent company apart from the studio system and that's the real reason for the split:

"They said that Mr. Cruise's production company had decided to set up an independent operation financed by two top hedge funds, which they declined to name. Paula Wagner, Mr. Cruise's partner in the company, said such an arrangement represented a new business model for top actors prominent enough to take advantage of the flood of money coming into Hollywood from Wall Street."

In the end, who will really suffer here? Deadline Hollywood's Nikke Finke sees hypocrisy in Redstone's reasons for the firing ("My god, Sumner himself was openly shtupping one of his producer girlfriends on the lot for years, and his own son is suing him. And Redstone looked the other way when Les Moonves carried on a long adulterous affair with employee Julie Chen and then married her after dumping his wife in the process.").

She asks, who's crazier, Viacom or Tom Cruise?

"C’mon, fire the grinning actor idiot because he’s lost his box office appeal, or because his first dollar gross is so exorbitant that no studio has a prayer any more of making money on his motion pictures, or because of any other business reason. And fire him in the usual Hollywood way: with a bland-but-dignified press release about how much these 14 years have meant to both parties, ad nauseum. But, jeez, don’t fire him with this lame stuff that Sumner didn’t like the way Tiny Tom behaved. If that’s true, then no Hollywood studio can ever hire anyone. Drugs, sex, harrassment, mendacity, fraud: Paramount like most major studios has a rich history of horrible behavior by its work-for-hires. I could reel off for you 10 people now with rich studio deals, some at Paramount, who should be in jail or rehab or the Funny Farm but instead are well-paid miscreants."

So Redstone's move is really the corporate equivalent of squirting a water gun in the star's face. Is publicly shaming one of the most litigious nuts in the movie business really a smart business move? Of course Cruise has been astonishingly weird. But in the end, Redstone's memo does seem like one of those vindictive emails that get fired off at 3 in the morning after a long night of partying, only to be regretted the next day.

Who's Crazier - Viacom or Tom Cruise? [deadline hollywood]
Paramount Booting Tom Cruise off the Lot [defamer]

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Comments

  1. Tom is NOT GAY!!!!!

    Posted by: Bryce | Aug 23, 2006 9:10:08 AM


  2. I am all for bashing on Tom Crazy, but you have so far ignored posting anything on senator Hillary Clinton delaying the renewal of the Ryan White Act...which funds HIV/AIDS programs around the country

    Get over this superficial crap and report on some real news

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Aug 23, 2006 9:58:49 AM


  3. Jeebus, this is a really, really slow news week.

    Posted by: jeebus | Aug 23, 2006 9:59:07 AM


  4. I've never liked Tom Cruise. I barely tolerated him in "Interview with a Vampire".

    Posted by: Rad | Aug 23, 2006 10:02:23 AM


  5. I bet Tom's friends from his "The Outsiders" days are not envying him now. How much millions does one need anyway to feel rich and powerful anyway?

    Posted by: gabe | Aug 23, 2006 10:04:21 AM


  6. It's not too difficult to figure out what happened here. Tom gets a boatload of money from the gross of each picture plus a big portion of the after-markte stuff (DVD, rentals, airplane viewing etc..) and given that he's getting older and his movies are not making as much money for the studio as previously, they wanted a different deal. He didn't.

    So in all likelihood, both sides are right...Paramount/Redstone thinks Tom is crazy and that the antics hurt their ability to recoupl their losses and Tom/Paula are right in that other sources of funding are lined up to hand him money.

    Everyone wins.

    Posted by: hoya86 | Aug 23, 2006 10:23:25 AM


  7. Buh-bye Tom. Hope he starts working in the sequel to Battlefield Earth really soon.

    Posted by: xavier | Aug 23, 2006 10:25:21 AM


  8. um, I think you guys are being a little rediculous with this Sen. Clinton story. Remember, it's Andy's blog. Let the man get to it when he gets to it. Seriously.

    However, it's a cloaked compliment that some of you expect your gay news/discussion here.

    Posted by: Bobby Alexander | Aug 23, 2006 10:47:13 AM


  9. Ouch! This can't be good for Tom's ego.

    Posted by: Anon | Aug 23, 2006 11:16:29 AM


  10. Well at least SOMEONE is standing up to the nut and telling him to his face that he's gone off the deep end.

    As far as Hillary's AIDS stall and other news stories, I read Towleroad for both the serious stuff and the fluff. It fits my tastes to a 'T'. If it didn't I would read someone else's blog.

    Posted by: Jason King | Aug 23, 2006 11:53:01 AM


  11. Actors tend to be a bit different it is kinda a job requirement. I think the press release is that of a old man with nearly 9 Billion dollars having a good piss on Tom. Bad taste... pee that is.

    Posted by: M | Aug 23, 2006 11:54:32 AM


  12. Sayonara, you crazy douchebag.

    The Hollywood spin-meisters can whine all they want about how “undignified” they think Cruise’s pink slip was. But I for one am glad to see someone in that town call out Tom for his ridiculous behavior over the past few years.

    The worst was when he publicly denounced Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants. Of course, I’ve always been personally offended by the never-ending stream of lawsuits when ever someone mentioned those ‘gay rumors.’ Besides thinking “the lady protest too much,” what kind of message does that send to people about being gay? He better NOT turn out to be gay with nonsense like that.

    All I have to say is, “good riddance you psycho_cult-following_douchebag_prick!”

    Posted by: Patrick W. | Aug 23, 2006 2:03:51 PM


  13. My favorite part of the whole thing is Paula Wagner referring to Tom Cruise, in the Los Angeles Times article about this incident, as an "artist."

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-fi-cruise23aug23,0,4171571.story?coll=la-home-entertainment

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Aug 23, 2006 2:45:13 PM


  14. And the best came this afternoon when Paramount announced a two picture deal with Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of South Park! Back at ya' Tom!

    Posted by: Wayne | Aug 23, 2006 3:30:25 PM


  15. He deserved this soooo much. He made more than the studio for his latest mission impossible bore, because it was multi-project contract that benefittted both parties well, until the nutcase fired the only Mgmt team that kept him "apealling" to the public and hid his cult fanaticism, the great Pat Kingsley.

    Because of Cruise's crazy antics after he fired Pat, total revenues were so far down that Paramount made $15 million on profit and Tom garnered close to $80 mil from his front-end package. See if another studio does a deal like that again, thanks CAA....

    The people i feel most sorry for are those stupid hedge fund participants who will have to sue the scientologist following investment guru's who probaly put that deal together.

    Posted by: doug | Aug 28, 2006 7:04:40 PM


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