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Paramount Severs Ties With Tom Cruise

Tom CruiseThe 'Net is all a-buzz about the announcement that Paramount has officially ended its 14 year relationship with Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner's Cruise/Wagner Productions.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sumner Redstone, chairman of Viacom (Paramount's parent company) told the Wall Street Journal that the studio was not renewing its pact with Cruise because, "As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew the deal. His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount."  Now that's some serious couch-jumping black-lash.

Paula Wagner responded, saying "That came out of nowhere. It seems erratic. Paramount needs to spend more time identifying its goals and what films it wants to make. This is Hollywood's oldest film studio, with a legacy to uphold."

Feeding the war of words, the Wagner/Cruise camp also said they had walked away from the negotiations several days ago when Paramount's latest offer came up short.

Rick Nicita, one of Cruise's agents and husband to Wager, said he became unhappy with the way Paramount "was negotiating the deal in public. It showed a lack of goodwill and a lack of appreciation for what Cruise/Wagner did for the studio and a sense of history."

Meanwhile, sources at the studio say that Paramount was not willing to pay a premium to keep Cruise's cushy overall deal (rumored to be $10 million a year).

Undaunted, Wagner said the production company has lined up private equity that will allow it to operate independently of any of the studios and provide it with the creative freedom it lacked under Paramount.

Though Cruise's popularity has waned lately do to his erratic public behavior, he still commands a more than respectable box office draw - "Mission: Impossible III"  brought in $393 million worldwide and "War of the Worlds" grossed almost $592 million.  Why then would Paramount cut ties with such a cash cow?  Is the studio attempting to make an example of Cruise by taking a hard line?  Paramount's statement that his "conduct has not been acceptable" seems a lofty way to run a business. 

I suspect there was a more careful cost/benefit analysis done by the accountants.  The "he's too kooky for us" line is just too fishy - especially in Hollywood.  --Shannon Nolley

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Posted by Shannon on August 23, 2006 9:43 AM
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Another funny coincedence. Matt and trey(creators of south park) had an episode pulled due to Tom Cruise. Tom just got the boot and Matt and Trey just got signed for 2 movie deals. I smell a little secret story. If not, its just justice.

-- Posted by: josh at August 23, 2006 10:10 AM

Another funny coincedence. Matt and trey(creators of south park) had an episode pulled due to Tom Cruise. Tom just got the boot and Matt and Trey just got signed for 2 movie deals. I smell a little secret story. If not, its just justice.

-- Posted by: josh at August 23, 2006 10:10 AM

"he's too kooky for us" = "he's taking too many percentage points off our ever-dwindling net revenue."

If MI3 had made $600 million, I doubt this would have happened.

-- Posted by: mac at August 23, 2006 12:17 PM

How are they gonna do that to Maverick?!

-- Posted by: Phil at August 23, 2006 10:51 PM

this is just to freakin great. down with tom cruise!

-- Posted by: Laura at August 24, 2006 2:29 AM

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