Ready to embrace his potential as a franchise beast beyond the gadgety confines of Mission: Impossible, Tom Cruise is adding a second Jack Reacher movie to his docket. A sequel to the 2012 film is reportedly being fast-tracked by Paramount and Skydance; it'll be based on Never Go Back, Lee Child's most recent novel and his 18th about Jack Reacher. In this one, the retired military man — of hulking proportions on the page, of Cruise-like proportions onscreen — heads to a Virginia Army base to meet one Major Susan Turner. Instead of a nice dinner, our hero finds his new buddy arrested and himself accused of assaulting a man and fathering a secret child. "Reacher fights, aiming to find Turner and clear his name, barely a step ahead of the army, and the FBI, and the D.C. Metro police, and four unidentified thugs." No bullet-shooting obstacle will go undeployed.
Just more than 20 years after A Few Good Men dropped you-can't-handle-the-truth bombs all over the place, costars Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson might make El Presidente. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the script's about "a straight-arrow Secret Service agent who is assigned to protect America's worst former president, an alcoholic and womanizing sleazebag who was elevated from VP when the president died." Unnamed sources tell THR that Cruise went to Nicholson's house last week to try convincing The Man Who Was Jack Torrance to come along for the ride. "Cruise told Nicholson he won’t do the movie without him. It’s too early to say if the sit-down proved effective, but insiders say the end result was that Nicholson agreed to at least read the script," which came from Jesse Armstrong (In the Loop) and Parks and Recreation writer and Brooklyn Nine-Nine creator Dan Goor, with a rewrite from Paul Attanasio (Quiz Show, Donnie Brasco). Doug Liman, who directed Cruise in the upcoming sci-fi film Edge of Tomorrow and also has The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith on his résumé, is directing.
How do you get Tom Cruise mad? Question his parenting! Cruise recently emerged from his fortress of solitude to sue In Touch for its cover story "Abandoned by Daddy," which posited that Cruise had not seen Suri in eons. Cruise has long made a habit of suing tabloids for defamation. In 2003, he won $10 million in a lawsuit against gay porn star Chad Slater, who told a French tabloid that he'd wooed Cruise away from Nicole Kidman. In 2001, he filed a $100 million lawsuit against publisher Michael Davis, who claimed to have a VHS of Cruise having gay sex. The lawsuit was dropped when Davis admitted the videotape didn't exist and made a statement on the record that Cruise "is not and has never been homosexual." It's strange that a star as big as Cruise would sue these rags, especially when they're on the hard respected level of In Touch. If anything, it adds a touch of Streisand effect to the rumors. Why create smoke where there's no fire? But if Cruise bristles about stories of his sexuality, he gets downright livid when his parenting is called into question. Nobody has been sued yet about those rumors that his ex-wife Katie Holmes hooked up with Jamie Foxx in the Hamptons over the summer, maybe because it's a scenario so random it seems like a weirdly plausible real-life sequel to Collateral.
When a celebrity couple breaks up, there's an initial deluge. The he-said-she-said, the list of alleged side pieces, the ensuing legal battle. If it's a good couple, the breakup is enough to sustain a few weeks of tabloid covers, but then we're all just expected to move on. Well, what if I haven't? Some celebrity couples need to be revisited. Thus, welcome to Divorce Court, a necessary forum to decide the winners and losers of the most high-profile and most interesting celebrity divorces. This exercise could only begin with one couple: Tom Cruise and current Vanity Fair cover girl Nicole Kidman.
Tom and Nicole met making Days of Thunder, though I prefer to think of them as the young Irish lovers from Far and Away. They got married in 1990 when she was 23 and he was 28. If you decided to read this article at all, you likely already know that Tom Cruise is a Scientologist. He joined the Church because of his first wife, Mimi Rogers, and later converted his second wife, Nicole. They adopted two kids, Isabella and Connor, both of whom they raised as Scientologists as well. After 12 years and eight months, with 21 movies between them, their union fell apart. In February of 2001 Tom abruptly filed for divorce, blindsiding Nicole. It was ugly immediately. He implied that Nicole had done something nefarious. When people asked why they were getting divorced, he would say, "Ask Nicole. She knows." Meanwhile, her team said that she improved his star quality. To avoid the equitable split of assets that California law mandates after 10 years of marriage, Tom claimed that they'd been married for nine years and 11 months. Nicole fired back, leveraging the placenta she saved from her then-recent miscarriage to prove that Tom was the father. Ultimately, the divorce was finalized on August 8, 2001. They settled 50-50, and Tom raised the kids.
The War of the Worlds star and Scientologist formerly known as Thomas Mapother IV has been on a sci-fi bender in the last year, headlining Oblivion while eyeing and/or joining Edge of Tomorrow, Our Name Is Adam, and Yukikaze. Now he's considering a mission-less return to reality with Go Like Hell. What sounds like a documentary about how and why Cruise runs so blisteringly hard in every movie he's in is actually a project about Ford battling Ferrari for cool-car dominance in the very era when Don Draper fought Ted Chaough for cool-dude dominance. The film would reteam Cruise with his Oblivion director, Joseph Kosinski, who also did TRON: Legacy.
Everything you need to know about the incredible attention to detail in this Archer makeover of Kenny Loggins's "Danger Zone (Love Theme to Top Gun*)" is contained in the fleeting moment at 1:11, when Sterling/Maverick short-arms Cyril/Goose's dog tags into the Pacific. Tom Cruise, as you may remember, cannot throw, and his awkward heave of his beloved jetmate's memory into the roiling waters of the ocean that claimed him has always bothered us. And there it is again. The Archer gang loves nothing more than to rip open an old wound and pour a dirty martini into it. This video is simultaneously a joyous tribute and the deepest of criticisms. Enjoy.
I'm not psychic — stop it; I'm not! — but I'm predicting right now that the summer of 2015 will look vastly different from the one we just suffered through. (Summer of 2014 is pretty much all booked. Sorry.) There will certainly be your Batman-Superman mega-movies, but I'm guessing there will be fewer of them than there have been in the past. Setting aside the box-office numbers (the summer appears to have been a success), the art itself was pretty monochromatic.
Complaints about the summer of 2013's sameness — Earth destroyed and abandoned once, twice, 10 times; even in comedies — were being logged as early as April, when Oblivion opened. By the end of June we were wiped out. Not so much by homogeneous plots, but homogeneous scale. We're eating a lot of $200 million movies these days, far exceeding our recommended seasonal allowance. Every week it was a porterhouse and sometimes all that steak makes you want just a salad. Pacing and variety are important. What if summers were programmed to look more like fall and winter?
Driving past Scientology's Celebrity Centre last weekend, it was immediately apparent that something was up: white tents, party supply rental vans, A-list (and some B- and C-list) thetans in the air. It was all in preparation for Saturday's 44th Anniversary Gala, where celebrity Scientologists like John Travolta, Laura Prepon, Jenna Elfman, and Chick Corea gathered to celebrate how L. Ron Hubbard's The Way to Happiness somehow made Carson, an L.A. suburb, safer ("Peace Rides"!) and the accomplishments of almost a half-century of "provid[ing] creative individuals with a distraction-free environment where they may pursue Scientology spiritual counseling and courses."
Scientology-watching is a niche interest, a subject that has the ability to alienate a readership and make people plenty uncomfortable. The Church's detractors, many of whom are former members, can be hammy and tabloidy; some of them make websites that feature fascinating content buried in a visual mess (mustard borders; stock images of hundred-dollar bills to imply greed, evil, and scandal; and, of course, animations of space clams). The organization guards its secrets so closely that every leak jolts the heart of X-Filesy truth-seekers who are desperate to scratch a line through one of the Church's many weird mysteries. The funny thing about Scientology, though, is that the facts remain elusive even though the critics and the fanatics are each fairly outspoken.
We all saw Wall-E, right? OK. Imagine that instead of a cute robot making towers of scrap metal, it's Tom Cruise patrolling for scary monsters. Instead of rotund, useless humans left on the mothership, it's sleek HBICs Andrea Riseborough and Melissa Leo. And instead of one last cockroach as the hero's only friend, there are actually a whole passel of survivors of the apocalyptic life-ending war that ruined Earth, and they need Jack's help to make sure that drones don't kill them all.
The basic problem with this movie, near as I can tell, is that making it through the apocalypse looks just terrible. Resources are scarce, you have to staple scraps of clothes together so that you and whoever else is left look like a bunch of Quasimodos got caught in some paper shredders, and your existence consists of nothing more than a fight to make it to the next day. By contrast, wherever Andrea Riseborough is hanging out looks pretty sweet! She has a wardrobe of stylish yet understated dresses that look like they come from the future's answer to Jil Sander. She doesn't have a hair out of place. Her skin is like a porcelain doll's. I can't lay claim to any of those things in a pre-apocalyptic world. I feel like a chump!
George Clooney & Eva Longoria: "Back in March — while he was still dating Stacy Keibler, 33 — Clooney, 52, connected with Eva Longoria, 38, in Berlin." Oh shit! "George told her that he was still with Stacy, but had plans to break up with her — and was interested in being with Eva. Then he pursued Eva with texts and calls, though they never hooked up."
“No, no, no,” the tall guy in the hoodie says into his phone. “I’m past the pirate ship.” He cranes his neck up to look at it, a giant promotional buy for something no one will remember in a year’s time. “Yeah, no. I got here at five.”
It’s a little after 6 a.m. on Saturday, and I’ve crawled out of bed after three hours’ sleep to get in line for Hall H, the central cathedral of San Diego’s Comic-Con, the four-day pop culture extravaganza that devours an extended summer’s weekend for more than 100,000 of the devout. The day before, I consulted with every Hall H expert I knew to figure out when would be early enough to get in line for a full day’s movie excitement. The assurance I received from every one of them was that 6 would be more than early enough. Hell, 6:30 might be safe.
About 3:30, a friend gets in line and sends out a tweet to say he’s right on the cusp of getting in to the venue. People haven’t just been camped out since the night before; they’ve been camped out since the afternoon before for Saturday, traditionally the big day in Hall H, when Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, and Marvel Studios all make their presentations. These three studios, not coincidentally, are responsible for nearly all the superhero films released each year. (Only Spider-Man, which remains with Sony and was presented on Friday, did not make an appearance on Saturday.) As such, Saturday in Hall H has always been a big-ticket item — or it would be if one could buy tickets for it.
By the time I make it to the line, it snakes underneath five tents, the last of which divides people into four “chutes,” like cattle, to send them into Hall H. (When they finally enter, volunteers will line every step of their journey, applauding, as if they are returning conquerors or Super Bowl winners.) Get past the tents and the line crosses a busy street to continue up a sidewalk alongside a nearby hotel, before ending up at a seaside harbor walk — where the aforementioned pirate ship is docked. The line then snakes around as many more times as it needs to accommodate every person who arrives. At various points this weekend, the line will hold in excess of 10,000 people and perhaps as many as 15,000 (it’s impossible to get an exact count). It is big and intimidating and exhausting just to look at, the Sisyphean ordeal all Hall H attendees must endure to enter the promised land.
Twenty years ago this week, a movie called The Firm was released. It starred the biggest movie star on the planet, Tom Cruise; was directed by a celebrated industry veteran, Sydney Pollack; and went on to gross more than $158 million in America, the fourth-highest total of 1993. Less than six months later, a movie called The Pelican Brief, adapted from a novel by the same author as The Firm — the former Mississippi criminal attorney turned yarn-spinner John Grisham — went on to earn $100 million. It was also directed by a respected veteran of '70s cinema, Alan J. Pakula. These movies won no major awards and were only mildly regarded critically. But they made bundles of money and left an unlikely imprint on the town. Along with a few important forebears, notably 1990's Presumed Innocent, their success ramped up a persistent trend in Hollywood: the rise of the legal thriller. Today, that subgenre has almost completely disappeared from the movies.
Jennifer Aniston Pregnant and Alone: "Jen's plan to wed on some exotic beach by year's end crashed and burned, brought down, it seems, by a combination of domestic squabbling and Justin [Theroux]'s career ambitions — mainly his huge commitment to star with Liv Tyler in the HBO series The Leftovers," which starts filming soon. "Things go so toxic that the couple has taken what is known as 'a break.'" YEAH, JUST ASK ROSS WHAT THAT WORD MEANS. "Now Jen's alone with her Smartwater stash and yoga mats, rattling around the SoCal Mansion while Justin's 3,000 miles away in his beloved NYC, taking meetings, studying scripts and tooling through traffic on his BMW motorcycle." A freaked-out Jen is worried that yet again, her "life lies in ruins. The wedding's canceled, her man's nowhere to be seen." Justin is a snob about L.A. "He's always vowed that he'd never live in L.A. because he can't stand the vacuous people there. There's no discussion of current affairs, politics, history, art — it's all movies, how you look and what car you drive. He hates all that and no $21 million mansion in Bel Air is ever going to change that." Good thing there are no vacuous people in New York!
The last time around for Ethan Hunt seemed like good-bye. The good folks behind the Mission: Impossible franchise gave the fourth installment a big clunky subtitle — Ghost Protocol — to differentiate it from the last few, and then appeared to be grooming Jeremy Renner to take over. But, as we all should have learned a long time ago, you cannot kill Tom Cruise. Ghost Protocol raked in nearly $700 million worldwide, the best a Cruise movie has ever done, and now Tommy's been invited back once more. As Deadline reports, Cruise is confirmed for Mission: Impossible 5. (No word on who else will be onboard, or who's directing, although Deadline speculates it'll be Christopher McQuarrie, who did Jack Reacher with Cruise.)