Tom Cruise’s ‘Impossible’ Paycheck

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 8, 2000 — Tom Cruise is a $70 million man. And he doesn’t even have a bionic arm. (Just a really good agent.)

Seventy big ones is the amazing amount Cruise netted for 1996’s “Mission: Impossible” — a staggering detail heretofore unreported until it was casually mentioned by Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone during a speech Monday in Munich, Germany.

The “Impossible” payday included “a shrewdly negotiated backend participation deal,” in the (understated) words of today’s Hollywood Reporter, for starring in and producing the movie, which grossed $464.9 million worldwide.

The payday trumps other (reputedly) supersized ones, including Jack Nicholson‘s $50 million-something turn as the Joker in 1989’s “Batman.”

After telling you Cruise made $70 mil for making one “Mission: Impossible” flick, do we really have to add this: Cruise is currently finishing work on, yes, a “Mission” sequel.

Mission: Impossible 2” is due out in theaters May 24. Cruise again stars and produces, but studio officials aren’t saying whether a similar big-money deal is involved.

Cruise‘s next acting-only vehicle is now up for grabs. He and director Steven Spielberg had talked about working together on the sci-fi flick “Minority Report,” but now that Spielberg is recovering from kidney surgery, Cruise is said to be meeting with the Farrelly brothers (“There’s Something About Mary“) about their new in-development comedy “Shallow Hal.”

Either way, the payday for either project is not likely to match his “Mission: Impossible” kitty. There are only so many bills in circulation.