Tom Cruise’s dance card is filling up pretty quickly. The actor has the visually stunning Oblivion in theatres now, next year’s All You Need is Kill is in the can, and he has been tapped to star alongside Armie Hammer in the Guy Ritchie-directed The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. Now comes word via Deadline that Cruise has agreed to reprise his role as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible 5.
Cruise’s last outing as the IMF agent in 2011′s Ghost Protocol was not only the series’ most successful, it was the actor’s highest-grossing movie ever.
No writer/director is attached, but the film will be produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. Abrams helped reinvent the franchise by directing part III and helping land Brad Bird for the fourth instalment, which featured Cruise doing some death-defying stunts in Dubai.
But with Star Wars: Episode VII due to start shooting early next year, it’s unlikely that Abrams would have much creative involvement in the new film.
Also on Cruise’s plate (if you’re a fan, and I am) is a sequel to Jack Reacher. While that film, which is based on Lee Child’s long-running crime series, wasn’t a huge hit in North America, globally it made over $215 million according to Box Office Mojo.
Deadline speculates that Cruise’s Reacher director Christopher McQuarrie will be asked to helm Mission: Impossible 5.
Less clear, is whether Top Gun 2 will still proceed following director Tony Scott’s death last year. Cruise’s reprisal of Maverick was supposed to go before cameras ahead of M:I 5. Speaking with Yahoo! Movies, producer Jerry Bruckheimer said he is still optimistic that the sequel will happen. “We haven’t given up yet,” he said earlier this year. “It’s just figuring out how to do it, which I think we have a good handle on, and losing Tony slowed us down, but hopefully we can pick up speed again.”
Are you happy Cruise will be accepting another Mission? Let us know what you think in the comments.
At 50, Tom Cruise is showing no signs of slowing down. This week, the veteran actor jumps into the future with Oblivion, and he follows that with another sci-fi picture, All You Need Is Kill, in 2014.
In honour of Cruise’s latest (trailer below), we wanted to take a look back at some of his best and worst moments in front of the camera.
He might not have the chops for the seriousness of Lincoln, but if nothing else, Cruise has tried to mix it up throughout his 30-plus year career. And even when he’s returned to familiar ground, for example as Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible films, he has chosen to do so with newcomers like Brad Bird, J.J. Abrams and John Woo.
I’m sure your list of best and worst Tom Cruise movies will differ, but here’s my take on when he’s been at the top of his game and when he missed the mark onscreen.
Let me know what you think Tom’s best and worst have been in the comments.
This is Cruise’s only film franchise and Ethan Hunt is a character that we’ve seen morph over four films. In particular, I like how each has bared the stamp of its differing director. The third instalment was a darker chase picture reminiscent of television’s Alias, which director J.J. Abrams helped create, while the fourth offered up truly spectacular stunts. Cruise’s charming Hunt all the while tying the action together.
Cruise made dancing in a pink shirt and underwear cool. I’ll admit I’ve never done it, though.
Cruise has rarely been the bad guy. But in Michael Mann’s 2004 thriller, he played the eerie, utterly absorbing hitman Vincent in a role that is still my favourite. In his slick grey suit, dyed hair and Mann’s camera lingering on his grizzled face for extended takes, Cruise’s villain steals every scene he’s in.
Cruise is ageless, but as Les Grossman we get to see him reimagined as a grotesque Hollywood hotshot. It’s a role he doesn’t get nearly enough credit for – Cruise the comedian? Puleeze. But admit it, you’ve YouTubed Cruise’s portly dance moves at the end of the film for repeated viewings. It’s his one supporting role that cries for a spinoff.
His role as an egomaniacal motivational speaker in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia required Cruise to run the gamut. As Frank T.J. Mackey, Cruise is a chauvinistic guru who preaches the gospel on picking up women. But there are two key scenes in the actor’s supporting part that showcase his ability to shed false bravado with ease. His vulnerability is a revelation and we can’t take our eyes off of it.
Born on the Fourth of July
Cruise proved he could do serious in this collab with Oliver Stone. The actor was playing a real-life, wheelchair-bound Vietnam vet and the role required him to age both physically and emotionally. A tall order from a guy who was slinging drinks in Cocktail the summer before, but he pulled it off and scored an Oscar nom along the way.
Cruise gets top-billing in this movie about a down-and-out sports agent trying to claw his way back into relevance. It’s schmaltzy, but it’s so good to see Cruise play a guy whose been knocked down a peg – haven’t we all, really – looking for a second shot. Ironically, my favourite part from that film is not the “Show me the money” scene. I really loved the “Help me, help you” part.
Interview With The Vampire/Jack Reacher
Book people got so unnecessarily upset with Cruise’s casting as Lestat and Jack Reacher. He was brills as Anne Rice’s beloved vampire (he made co-star Brad Pitt look like canned ham) and ably converted Reacher’s best traits onto the big screen. Let’s face it Reacher creatures, if they had made the movie with an actor who looks as ugly as Lee Child has written him to be, no one would have watched it.
The Color of Money
Up to this point, Cruise’s acting chops hadn’t been really tested yet. Under the direction of Martin Scorsese, though, the actor was brilliant from beginning to end opposite Paul Newman’s ‘Fast Eddie.’
Working with Steven Spielberg is admittedly a safe bet. But Minority Report was an amazing futuristic thriller. And the duo’s War of the Worlds was a fab encore.
Rock of Ages
The movie itself was dud. But Cruise’s Stacee Jaxx was heaps of fun to watch. And hey, it turns out he’s a pretty good singer too.
It hasn’t been all roses for Cruise, though. Here’s a few of his films I won’t be running out to watch again anytime soon.
When I saw this as a 10-year-old in the 1980s, I couldn’t get enough of Maverick and Goose. But in 2013, viewed against the rest of his filmography, Top Gun is one of Cruise’s cheesiest performances.
Days of Thunder
‘Top Gun-on-a-racetrack’ didn’t exactly work for Cruise and director Tony Scott. Gentlemen, please do not start your engines.
Far and Away
His 1992 collab with then-wife Nicole Kidman was early proof the two couldn’t work together.
A Few Good Men
I know, I know. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, but this was one of Cruise’s most formulaic pictures. It was a connect-the-dots drama, and Cruise was no match for sneering Jack Nicholson. The salute at the end was laughable.
While it features one of my favourite movie lines of all time – ‘Everything ends badly, otherwise it wouldn’t end’ – it’s just wee bit too fluffy. It reminds me of my cringe-inducing 1988 high school photo. And the soundtrack is just… wrong.
Tom Cruise while filming a scene from his movie ‘All You Need is Kill’ (WENN.com)
Tom Cruise is in early talks to star in a big-screen version of ’60s spy show The Man from U.N.C.L.E., according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Guy Ritchie is set to direct the thriller, which followed two secret agents, Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Soviet agent Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum).
Before he decided to retire, Side Effects director Steven Soderbergh was considering a reboot with George Clooney as a possible star. When Clooney moved on, Channing Tatum, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Joel Kinnaman and Michael Fassbender were eyed as replacements.
If Cruise agrees, he’ll be Ritchie’s third choice. According to The Hollywood Reporter, both Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have been approached to play Napoleon Solo, but offers could not be finalized.
Cruise has Oblivion out next month, and the sci-fi action movie All You Need Is Kill due next year. He is also slated to reprise his role as Ethan Hunt in a fifth instalment of his Mission: Impossible series.
OK movie fans. Have you had enough of indie art-house seriousness? Even if you still need to see Lincoln and Argo to win big in your company Oscar pool, I know and you know that what you’re really jazzed about are the slew of action movies hitting the big screen in 2013.
And the first of this year’s impressive slate – the “big, LOUD and stupid” Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters – hits screens this weekend (to read the review, head on over to the Toronto Sun). So, if action is your thing, let’s take a look at some other flicks that’ll get your adrenaline pumping over the next 12 months.
The Old Guys
If you have a soft spot for aging heroes, vintage action stars will be all over the screen in 2013. Arnie and Sly are back for two solo adventures, before teaming up in their first full-length shoot ‘em up. Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand is in theatres now, with Stallone’s Bullet to the Head due out on Feb. 1. The pair will then join forces in The Tomb (Sept. 27). 50 Cent also stars so, hey, bring the kids.
If those two are a little too leathery for you, Bruce Willis will be back as John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard. It opens on Valentine’s, so fellas start strategizing now. It’s the fifth instalment in Willis’ long-running McClane series and they never disappoint.
Bruce will also star in G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Red 2, so I’m just going to go ahead and crown him action star of the year.
Comics and graphic novels are always a great source for action aficionados, and this year a whole slew of costumed heroes will be vying for your cash. After letting Marvel rule the celluloid hero-verse (The Dark Knight notwithstanding), DC Comics is flying into action in a big way with Man of Steel (July 14). Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot will not only try to resuscitate the moribund franchise, it will be setting up a future all-star Justice League film skedded for 2015.
But Marvel doesn’t back down from a film fight, and they have Iron Man 3 (May 3), Kick-Ass 2 (June 28) and The Wolverine (July 24) due this summer. Thor: The Dark World will also be smashing into theatres Nov. 8.
Still, I’m betting on Superman to top them all. After 2006’s Superman Returns underperformed, DC knows they can’t miss and they’ve scored a visual virtuoso in Snyder and producer Chris Nolan to boot.
In addition to the ones already mentioned, we will see amped-up sequels to Frank Miller’s Sin City (Oct. 2) and 300 (Aug. 2), Vin Diesel and The Rock will be battling it out in Fast & Furious 6 (May 24) and 3D re-releases for Star Wars Episode II and III will be blasting on to screens this fall.
But the sequel that will be on everyone’s must-see list is Star Trek: Into Darkness. Shrouded in secrecy (we still don’t know who the villain is yet), Kirk, Spock and friends battle an “unstoppable force of terror.” If there’s one director who consistently exceeds expectations, though, it’s J.J. Abrams. Trek 2 will also be hitting theatres in 3D and Imax.
With the recent announcement that Abrams’ will be directing Star Wars Episode VII, the sequel might also end up being the last great Trek movie for a while.
Best of the rest
Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise and Big Willy will also be vying for your popcorn munching time in 2013. In an odd coincidence, two of the three will be starring in sci-fi films. First up is Cruise in Oblivion (April 19), followed by Will Smith in the M. Night Shyamalan-directed After Earth (June 7). Pitt is also going against type in his first foray into the zombie genre, World War Z (June 21).
Thanks to The Walking Dead, the walking dead are all the rage, but Pitt’s film has been plagued by delays (it still looks cool, though).
Johnny Depp will try and regain his mojo with The Lone Ranger (July 3). He’s reteaming with Pirates director Gore Verbinski, so his odds are good.
But predict Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim (July 11) will blow all of them out of the water. The shot-in-Toronto sci-fi film is robots versus monsters; humans are attacked and we fight back. Cue the awesomeness.
If none of these tickle your fancy, there’s also R.I.P.D. (July 19), Riddick (Sept. 6), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Nov. 22), Chris Pine’s Jack Ryan reboot (Dec. 25) and Keanu Reeves’ long-delayed 47 Ronin (Nov. 21).
When it’s all said and done, which do you think will stand head-and-shoulders above the rest? Let us know in the comments.