Few stars have shone brighter in Hollywood over the past 30 years than Tom Cruise. The actor has become one of the most enduring faces in an industry that so often disposes of talent at the slightest hint that their heyday might be over. His movies transcend entertainment, going so far as to influence national policy in the US on occasion. Now Warner Bros. Discovery is banking that Cruise’s star power will translate into big box office numbers as they unveil a new deal that will embed him into the fabric of the studio for the foreseeable future.
The deal has been billed as a “strategic partnership” in a press release from Warner Bros. Discovery and will see Cruise develop and produce original and franchise films for the studio. As part of that partnership, Cruise’s production company will set up shop on the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank, California. After multiple decades in the movie business, Tom Cruise has worked with just about every major studio, but it has been a decade since he appeared in Edge of Tomorrow, the most recent film he did with the studio. However, their relationship goes back to when they helped launch his career with 1983’s Risky Business, so this is still familiar territory for him.
There are a few wrinkles in the announcement, though. The deal stops well short of mentioning any exclusivity between the star and the studio, meaning that Cruise is free to continue starring in Paramount’s Mission: Impossible series, something he has said he's keen to do. Nor does it mention any first-look pact that gives studios ensure they have the option to produce any film the star makes. The press release gives the impression that it is primarily focused on ensuring that the films that Cruise’s production team is involved with add to the box office total for Warner Bros. Discovery, with giving him an office on the studio lot helping to engrain him into the woodwork. It feels like the company is banking on mere proximity to Tom Cruise will translate into box office success, which hasn't been a terrible bet over the past 40 years.
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