American Horror Story star Ben Woolf is reportedly in a stable condition three days after he was struck by a car in Los Angeles. The diminutive actor's head was clipped by a car's wing mirror while he was crossing the street on Thursday night (19Feb15), and he was admitted to hospital in critical condition.
Woolf reportedly remains sedated after undergoing surgery, but he is now believed to be out of danger.
His American Horror Story: Freak Show co-star Naomi Grossman tells E! Online, "It's awful to hear the news of your friend (in an accident). We're very close... We're all in contact and from what I understand (co-star) Kathy Bates tweeted that he was out of surgery and he's now in stable yet still critical condition. So we're just hoping for the best. I'm waiting like for any moment they're going to tell me I can go visit and I'll be there."
The actor's representative Zack Teperman adds, "Ben's family thanks everyone for their love, support and well wishes."
These actors have shaken us to the core with their gravitas on screen, but they've also shaken us with laughter. While they normally play kings, soldiers, gangsters and Shakespearean characters, once in a while they'll play best friends to teddy bears and over-the-top agents with intense arm hair. And they play both ends of the spectrum just as convincingly. Just think about how Steve Buscemi played Nucky on Boardwalk Empire and magician sidekick Anton Marvelton in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone at the same time and nobody batted an eye. In other words, these might be the perfect actors.
Sir Patrick Stewart may be best known for playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, or for his stage roles in Shakespearean classics like MacBeth, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Recently, however, Sir Stewart has emerged as somewhat of a viral video darling, wowing us with his quadruple-take acting lessons and endearing us by sharing his first experience with pizza. In 2005, he made one of the funniest and most memorable cameos on Ricky Gervais's Extras, in which he's obsessed with seeing women naked.
When you think Tom Cruise, you probably first think action star, and then maybe dramatic actor (and then maybe crazy Scientologist), but before 2008's Tropic Thunder, you probably would have never thought overweight, balding, sleazy studio executive. But he played exactly that in the Ben Stiller-directed comedy, and he played it to perfection. His character Les Grossman spouts such lines as "First, take a big step back...and literally f**k your own face!" and "A nutless monkey could do your job," making Ari Gold look like Mister Rogers.
Mark Wahlberg has steadily starred in Oscar-winning dramas like The Fighter and The Departed during his career, but peppered throughout are movies like Ted and Date Night. Wahlberg's gruff Boston attitude gives him weight in more serious roles, but also lends an edge to his comedic roles. His performance in David O. Russell's quirky, surreal, philosophy-heavy comedy I Heart Huckabees is perhaps one of the most underrated comedic performances of all time. Seriously, go watch it if you haven't.
Colin Firth first rose to fame playing Mr. Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and recently he was nominated for an Oscar for A Single Man and won one for The King's Speech. That said, let's all stop kidding ourselves and admit it: our favorite Colin Firth role was in Love Actually. Don't be ashamed. Every single other person secretly feels the same way.
There are few actors in Hollywood who can do stoner movies (Airheads), Tarantino classics (Reservoir Dogs), rom-coms (The Wedding Singer), dark comedies (Fargo), iconic stoner movies (The Big Lebowski), and still terrify us as TV's meanest gangster. Steve Buscemi is a rare gem of an actor. If he played an old Asian grandma, we would probably believe it, and be impressed.
Oscar-winner Matt Damon has made a career out of carefully-chosen film roles, most of which are of the dramatic or action variety. But the actor's inherent charm truly comes out when he dabbles in comedy, even in less-than-successful movies. His turn as bumbling and dense Mark Whitacre in The Informant! is subtle but spot-on. When he pairs up (literally) with Greg Kinnear in Stuck on You, his performance may not have won over critics, but it's a refreshing contrast to the usually serious Damon. And let's unearth a little-known ditty, shall we? Here's Damon as the lead singer of a pop-punk band in the 2004 comedy EuroTrip (you're welcome):
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David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
Transformation—an actor's best friend.
To better showcase the extravagant lifestyle of The Capitol citizens in this weekend's The Hunger Games, director Gary Ross decked his supporting actor Wes Bentley (who looks rather normal when he's filming floating plastic bags in movies like American Beauty) out in one of the strangest sets of facial hair ever committed to screen. The looks works, nailing the dystopian future society's hang up with all things fashion and image, but it also helps Bentley slip into his role as Games creator Seneca Crane, a dapper Dan of a fellow, who comes under heat when Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) starts messing with his grand plans. He's a bit twisted—and so are the curlycues in this 5 o'clock shadow.
Bentley isn't the only actor to ever undertake extensive beard work in order to bring a character to life. Here are a few of the wildest sets of facial hair ever to grace the silver screen.
Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder
After a brush with insanity on Oprah's couch, Cruise practically reinvented himself by throwing on a fat suit, donning a bald cap and perfecting the Hollywood aging agent look with a scummy, trimmed beard. Les Grossman was the ultimate vile studio executive, and it wouldn't have worked so well without Cruise losing his clean cut image in favor of the wannabe-rugged look.
Tom Hanks, Cast Away
Hanks made a career in the '80s playing the baby-faced nice guy, segueing into the '90s playing…the baby-faced nice guy (albeit with bigger, Oscar-worthy issues at hand). In 2000's Cast Away, he cut loose with longtime collaborator Robert Zemeckis, playing a man stranded on a deserted island for three years. Without a Gilligan's Island-style makeshift clam razor, Hanks's character grew a straggly set of facial hair—which Hanks actually grew out in real life, thanks to a year-long delay in production.
Old Man White Beard
The old man white beard: a symbol of age and wisdom. In the last decade, the old man white beard has finally found its place in the world, thanks to special effect improvements that allow fantasy/action movies to get off the ground. Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, Richard Harris/Michael Gambon in the Harry Potter franchise and the underrated classic, Pai Mei in Tarantino's Kill Bill films, all sport incredibly lengthy beards that put most alabaster to shame. They immediately command our trust, because we know they've been around for a long, long time.
Zach Galifianakis, Anything
Here's a little cinematic logic for you: comedians are funny. Comedians with beards? Ultimately, funnier.
Whether it's the Hangover movies, the inspired faux-talk show Between Two Ferns or forgettable entires like Due Date, Galifianakis multiples the laughs induced by his mumbling comedic style thanks to his signature fluffy beard. There was a time when Galifianakis didn't sport the facial hair. Remember his short lived VH1 talk show? No. Logic proved.
Al Pacino, Serpico
Serpico wasn't an ordinary cop. He may have been all about protecting citizens, but he was an embodiment of '70s counterculture. That was the last thing anyone saw Pacino playing back in 1973, after he played a mobster's son in Godfather. Thankfully, he had wild beard support, which effectively turned the method actor into down-and-dirty cop with a rebellious side.
Salma Hayek, The Vampire's Assistant
Never underestimate the female quotient when tallying the wildest movie beards.
The stunning Salma Hayek remained faithful to her biopic subject, painter Frida Kahlo, in Julie Taymor's film Frida, sporting a deglamorizingly thin mustache/beard. But that's not even Hayek's greatest movie beard. For that, one must look to Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, the actress little seen horror comedy. In the film, Hayek plays a bearded women, who doesn't take the position lightly.
Joaquin Phoenix, I'm Still Here
Phoenix's documentary I'm Still Here turned out to be a conscious effort on the actor's part to mess with Hollywood, audiences and anyone willing to give him the time. In return, Phoenix grew an enormous beard that became a symbol of his mentally unhinged state of being. The beard became a pop culture staple in 2006—solidified by Ben Stiller's spoof at the Oscars.
The black and white film completed a weekend trio of triumphs after also winning gold at the Cesar Awards in Paris on Friday (24Feb12) and the Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California on Saturday (25Feb12).
The Artist filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius was also triple weekend winner after claiming the Best Director honour at the Hollywood & Highland Center on Sunday, and the film also took home trophies for Costume Design and Score, while Jean Dujardin became the first Frenchman to pick up the coveted Best Actor award for his portrayal as silent film star George Valentin.
Meanwhile, Martin Scorsese's first 3D film Hugo picked up five of its 11 nominations in categories including Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
Other big winners at the 84th Academy Awards included Meryl Streep (Best Actress), Octavia Spencer (Best Supporting Actress), Woody Allen (Best Original Screenplay), Alexander Payne (Best Adapted Screenplay), Christopher Plummer, who, at 82, became the oldest actor ever to win an Academy Award, for his supporting role in Beginners, and A Separation, which became the first movie from Iran to win a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
Billy Crystal returned to host the ceremony for the ninth time and kicked off the show with one of his famous movie montages, playing The Artist's leading man George Valentin in a silent torture scene and George Clooney's comatose partner in The Descendants.
The odd couple shared a kiss as the movie hunk and Oscar nominee woke the sleeping comic and told him he had to host the ceremony, joking, "The Academy has got the youngest, hippest writers in town."
Crystal also placed himself in scenes from The Help, Bridesmaids, The Adventures of Tin Tin, Moneyball and Midnight in Paris, where he doubled up as Sammy Davis Jr. opposite Justin Bieber.
There was also a cameo for Tom Cruise in a brief Mission: Impossible skit.
In his opening monologue, Crystal joked, "The movies have always been there for us... so tonight, enjoy yourself because nothing can take the sting out of the world's economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues."
The full list of 2012 Oscar winners is:
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Octavia Spencer (The Help)
Best Achievement in Directing
Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Alexander Payne, Jim Rash & Nat Faxon (The Descendants)
Best Animated Feature Film
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
A Separation (Iran)
Best Achievement in Cinematography
Robert Richardson (Hugo)
Best Achievement in Editing
Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo)
Best Achievement in Art Direction
Dante Ferretti & Francesca Lo Schiavo (Hugo)
Best Achievement in Costume Design
Mark Bridges (The Artist)
Best Achievement in Makeup
Mark Coulier & J. Roy Helland (The Iron Lady)
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Ludovic Bource (The Artist)
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Bret McKenzie (Man or Muppet from The Muppets)
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Tom Fleischman & John Midgley (Hugo)
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Phillip Stockton & Eugene Gearty (Hugo)
Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman & Alex Henning (Hugo)
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short
Best Short Film, Animated
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Best Short Film, Live Action
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards
James Earl Jones, Dick Smith & Oprah Winfrey
Ladies and gentlemen, we're making our final descent towards naming a Best Picture of 2011.
With the Golden Globes behind us and Academy Award nominations hitting next week (with the show arriving at the tail end of February), the limbo week between them is reserved for the coveted BAFTAs, the UK equivalent of the Oscars. After picking up a few statues at the Globes, feel good favorite of the year The Artist leads the pack in the BAFTA nods with a whopping 12 nominations. Behind the silent comedy are the British spy drama Tinker Tailor Solider Spy with 11 noms and Hugo with 9. Can the BAFTAs give a much-needed boost to the latter two films? Only time will tell…The BAFTAs announce their winners February 12.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Outstanding British Film
My Week With Marilyn
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Outstanding Debut by a Writer, Director or Producer
Attack The Block - Joe Cornish (Director/Writer)
Black Pond - Will Sharpe (Director/Writer), Tom Kingsley (Director), Sarah Brocklehurst (Producer)
Coriolanus - Ralph Fiennes (Director)
Submarine - Richard Ayoade (Director/Writer)
Tyrannosaur - Paddy Considine (Director), Diarmid Scrimshaw (Producer)
Film Not in the English Language
The Skin I Live In
George Harrison: Living In The Material World
The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn
Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
Nicolas Winding Refn - Drive
Martin Scorsese - Hugo
Tomas Alfredson - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Lynne Ramsay - We Need To Talk About Kevin
Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig - Bridesmaids
John Michael McDonagh - The Guard
Abi Morgan - The Iron Lady
Woody Allen - Midnight In Paris
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash - The Descendants
Tate Taylor - The Help
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon - The Ides Of March
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin - Moneyball
Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt - Moneyball
Gary Oldman - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
George Clooney - The Descendants
Jean Dujardin - The Artist
Michael Fassbender - Shame
Berenice Bejo - The Artist
Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams - My Week with Marilyn
Tilda Swinton - We Need to Talk About Kevin
Viola Davis - The Help
Christopher Plummer - Beginners
Jim Broadbent - The Iron Lady
Jonah Hill - Moneyball
Kenneth Branagh - My Week with Marilyn
Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Ides of March
Carey Mulligan - Drive
Jessica Chastain - The Help
Judi Dench - My Week with Marilyn
Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaids
Octavia Spencer - The Help
The Artist - Ludovic Bource
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Hugo - Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Alberto Iglesias
War Horse - John Williams
The Artist - Guillaume Schiffman
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Jeff Cronenweth
Hugo - Robert Richardson
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Hoyte van Hoytema
War Horse - Janusz Kaminski
The Artist - Anne-Sophie Bion, Michel Hazanavicius
Drive - Mat Newman
Hugo - Thelma Schoonmaker
Senna - Gregers Sall, Chris King
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Dino Jonsater
The Artist - Laurence Bennett, Robert Gould
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 - Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan
Hugo - Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana MacDonald
War Horse - Rick Carter, Lee Sandales
The Artist - Mark Bridges
Hugo - Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre - Michael O'Connor
My Week With Marilyn - Jill Taylor
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Jacqueline Durran
Make Up & Hair
The Artist - Julie Hewett, Cydney Cornell
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 - Amanda Knight, Lisa Tomblin
Hugo - Morag Ross, Jan Archibald
The Iron Lady - Marese Langan
My Week With Marilyn - Jenny Shircore
The Artist - Nadine Muse, Gérard Lamps, Michael Krikorian
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 - James Mather, Stuart Wilson, Stuart Hilliker, Mike Dowson, Adam Scrivener
Hugo - Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty, Tom Fleischman, John Midgley
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - John Casali, Howard Bargroff, Doug Cooper, Stephen Griffiths, Andy Shelley
War Horse - Stuart Wilson, Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson, Richard Hymns
Special Visual Effects
The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn - Joe Letteri
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 - Tim Burke, John Richardson, Greg Butler, David Vickery
Hugo - Rob Legato, Ben Grossman, Joss Williams
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes - Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White
War Horse - Ben Morris, Neil Corbould
The Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award
He’s been nominated for three Academy Awards, won two Golden Globes and had an astounding 21 #1 box office debuts. He’s got one of the most impressive resumes of any actor today, having worked with Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Brian de Palma, Francis Ford Coppola, Ridley and Tony Scott, Oliver Stone, Ron Howard and Sidney Pollack. Most impressive, however, is that through all the scientology and couch-jumping controversy, Tom Cruise has remained one of the most alluring, interesting and watchable movie stars on Earth.
The stellar performance of the advanced IMAX previews of his latest cinematic adventure, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, proves yet again that he continues to appeal to moviegoers worldwide. As the movie gears up to expand its release, here are four reasons why Cruise is still an institution:
He’s One of the Last Marquee Names
In the golden age, films were sold to audiences based on star power. Movie posters were adorned with the names of their male and/or female leads featured as prominently as its title. But by the 1990s, things changed. Sure, people still came out to the theater to see their favorite actor’s new movie, but directors, genre and theme became as integral – or more important in some cases - to a marketing campaign as anything. Just take a look at the posters for the biggest films of 2011 including Harry Potter 7B, Fast Five, Transformers 3, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1; the franchise, not the cast, is the message.
But with a Tom Cruise movie, the actor is still the studio’s most valuable asset. Ghost Protocol’s posters, TV spots and subway spots have primarily highlighted the actor as opposed to the property because, quite simply, there is no Mission: Impossible without him.
He’s as Exciting to Watch in Supporting Roles as He Is in the Lead Though he’s best known as a leading man, some of Cruise’s most lauded performances came in the form of supporting turns in ensemble films. He was a standout in 1982’s The Outsiders, working alongside Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez. He gave an electrifying performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award). And Cruise recently stole the show in Ben Stiller’s 2008 laffer Tropic Thunder as Les Grossman, a role which he’ll possibly reprise in a forthcoming spin-off. His upcoming appearance in Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages should add to his running list of small parts with a big impact.
He Makes the Kind of Movies the Masses Want to See There’s a reason why Cruise has had enormous success. The fact that he’s a dynamic, capable actor is only part of the equation - an actor is really only as good as the material he/she works with. Cruise’s filmography stands out because of the kinds of movies he makes: quality crowd-pleasers with broad appeal. From Top Gun to Rain Man and Jerry Maguire to Minority Report, audiences have always come out to see his big-budget blockbusters and smaller, personal stories because of the spectacle or relatable human drama. They’re films that everyone can enjoy, and moviegoers continue to eat them up.
Seeing His Films Gets Us All Nostalgic We all look back on our youth with sentimentality. When Tom Cruise first became a global superstar, the movie industry was a different animal. As showbiz exponentially grew over the years into America’s chief export, the big-business aspect has taken some of the fun and austerity out the theater-going experience. Entertainment isn’t as enigmatic as it once was, and in most cases it’s not as awe-inspiring. That’s what makes seeing a movie like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol so great. When I saw the film last week and laid eyes on Ethan Hunt for the first time in five years, it immediately took me back to Summer 1996, when I was first introduced to the high-tech world of the IMF. Maybe it was my age, but going to the movies was just more enjoyable back then. Seeing Cruise run from an oncoming sandstorm and scale the world’s tallest building gave me the kind of larger-than-life experience I had regularly at the multiplex before the turn of the century. That’s not to say that contemporary productions are incapable of delivering the goods (see: The Adventures of Tintin), but too few reach the level of a Jurassic Park or T2. However, I can always rest assured knowing that every time Cruise gears up for a new motion picture it’ll be something that reminds me of a simpler, more wholesome era of moviegoing.
It appears that satirizing himself in Ben Stiller's 2008 action-comedy Tropic Thunder was the best move that Tom Cruise has made in a long time. His balding, obese studio head Les Grossman, who financed the doomed production at the center of Thunder's narrative and made a special appearance at last weekend's MTV Movie Awards, has become so popular among the masses that Paramount Pictures has decided to put the chronically-swearing movie mogul at the center of his own spin-off.
The announcement went something like this: Paramount Pictures and MTV Films announced today that they are set to develop a movie around mega-producer Les Grossman. The announcement comes on the heels of Grossman’s groundbreaking and visionary production of the soon-to-be Emmy award-winning 2010 MTV Movie Awards Sunday night. Tom Cruise, along with Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld of Red Hour Films will produce and have secured the life rights to Grossman.
The best part about all this is that Cruise, Stiller and all of the Paramount executives are playing along with the notion that Grossman is in fact a real Hollywood power producer, adding a funky art-imitating life/life-imitating art element to what is sure to be a hilarious film.
Says Stiller: “Les Grossman's life story is an inspiring tale of the classic human struggle to achieve greatness against all odds. He has assured me he plans to quote, ‘F**king kill the sh*t out of this movie and make Citizen f**king Kane look like a piece of crap home movie by the time we are done.’ I am honored to be working with him.”
Looking at the project from the outside-in, it's a great opportunity for Cruise to regain the almost universal likability that propelled him to stardom in the first place. You have to remember that before Thunder, he hadn't made a comedy since Jerry Maguire in 1996 - a long time for a guy who made funny films like Cocktail and Risky Business big hits in the 80s. Though Grossman is essentially a one trick pony (he curses and throws things at his underlings, people laugh at the ridiculousness of it all and he repeats), America loves him and that's exactly what Cruise needs: a stable personality to use in order to ride back into the hearts of audiences everywhere.
Most impressive is that this deal puts him steadily back in business with Paramount, the studio that he called home for years before being ousted after the infamous couch-jumping incident (Viacom topper Sumner Redstone cited poor returns from the star's 2006 vehicle Mission: Impossible 3 as the reason for the firing, but with $400 million in worldwide gross the film was clearly profitable). With Mission Impossible 4 set for a holiday 2011 release and Grossman primed to bring the laughs sometime after (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World's Michael Bacall has already been hired to pen the script), it's a good bet that Tom Cruise will not only reclaim his throne as Paramount's golden child, but will find his way back into the good graces of moviegoers as well.
Source: Paramount Pictures
Cruise stole the show at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday night (06Jun10) when he revived his hilarious Tropic Thunder character for skits and a dance routine with Jennifer Lopez - and now movie bosses are acting quickly to capitalise on the cult status of the foul-mouthed, rap-loving producer.
Cruise and Tropic Thunder co-star Ben Stiller will team up to produce the movie.
A statement from Stiller reads, "Les Grossman’s life story is an inspiring tale of the human class struggle to achieve greatness against all odds. He has assured me he plans to 'F**king kill the s**t out of this movie and make Citizen f**king Kane look like a piece of c**p home movie by the time we are done.'
"I am honored to be working with him."
Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman adds, "Everything I learned in this business, I’ve learned from Les. I started out as his assistant, and, from the first day he threw his desk at me when I got his lunch order wrong, I have loved him like a father."