Since David Zaslav took over the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery conglomerate and started shelving films for tax write offs and bragged about the labor strikes saving his studio money, I have asked one question—who wants to work for this guy? Well, we have the answer, and it’s the guy who’s made a career out of (fake) saving the world: Tom Cruise.
Cruise’s business home has been Paramount for ages, even though he doesn’t, technically, have a formal production deal there. What he has—had—is a very long, lucrative history with the studio and a good relationship with the Redstone family who owns it, and David Ellison, who owns Skydance, one of the main pillars propping up Paramount over the last 10+ years. Skydance co-finances and produces a lot of Paramount’s blockbuster films, including many of Cruise’s movies, most notably the Mission: Impossible franchise. So, it’s been a sunshine and handshake relationship for years, because everybody has benefitted from the Cruise-Paramount-Skydance partnership, but now Paramount has a “for sale” sign in the yard, and Warner Bros. Discovery is one of their most interested buyers.
This might just be Cruise moving fast and cutting out the middleman, if WBD does end up merging with Paramount, they would become his new business home by default. And it’s not a typical output deal, Cruise is still free to make movies for other studios, including Mission: Impossible 8 which is in production now for Paramount, and that other movie he wants to make so that Universal will pay for him to go to space. But beginning this year, Tom Cruise will be producing and starring in films for Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav is already calling it his coup de grâce, and if anything legitimizes a weirdly anti-cinema businessman as the head of a film studio, it’s one of cinema’s last great defenders going to work for him. Thanks, I hate it.
I just hate the reminder that Paramount, one of the last legacy studios, is about to bite the dust, and that all the worst people benefit from conglomeration. You know how A24 wants to expand into blockbusters and action movies? Tom Cruise could’ve gone to work with them! Instead, he’s lending his movie star shine to one of the most detestable people in Hollywood. David Zaslav has shown his contempt for the film industry, for the creatives who fuel it, and for the films they make. But now he’s the guy who brought Tom Cruise to Warner Brothers, so it’s all water under the bridge, at least until the next time he sh-tcans a movie for a tax break.
In unrelated news, I’m sure, Warners pulled Bong Joon-ho’s Mickey 17, starring Robert Pattinson, off their schedule. They’re saying it’s a strike-related delay but blaming problems on the strikes is the new blaming problems on COVID. They also cancelled Our Flag Means Death. But yeah, Tom Cruise is making movies with Warners now, everything is fine.
Also attached - Robert Pattinson running errands the other day in LA.