Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner Take Over United Artists
Posted on November 2, 2006
Variety reports that Tom Cruise and producing partner Paula Wagner are set to revive United Artists, the studio that was originally founded to be run by artists but which is now a unit of MGM. Cruise will star in and produce the films, and Wagner will serve as CEO.
In its new incarnation, U.A. will produce four pics a year, a number that eventually increase. The films will be marketed and distribbed by MGM. Cruise and Wagner will control the development, production and greenlighting of U.A. films, though subject to certain parameters.That's definitely a surprise move by Cruise -- he's apparently been working very hard to replace that Paramount deal. Meanwhile, Sumner Redstone has said that one of the main reasons he fired Cruise was because of his wife who, along with many other women, absolutely despises Cruise because of his Brooke Shields/anti-psychiatry/anti-medication rants.
Cruise/Wagner Productions had long been based at Paramount, but exited the Melrose lot in August when Par would not re-up the deal at the $10 million annual rate the duo had been receiving. The split became national news when Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone publicly chastised Cruise for his "inappropriate" behavior and said the star�s salary was too high considering the current economics of the movie industry.
News is the latest development at MGM since chairman-CEO Harry Sloan took over the studio last year and has been aggressively rebuilding the company into a distribution and marketing entity.
Paramount Studios boss Sumner Redstone's wife convinced him to end the studio's relationship with Tom Cruise, because she "and women everywhere had come to hate him."Ouch!
Explaining his wife's role in the decision, he adds, "Paula, like women everywhere, had come to hate him. The truth of the matter is, I did listen to her. His behavior was entirely unacceptable to Paula and to the rest of the world. He just didn't turn one (woman) off. He turned off all women, and a lot of men.
"When did I decide (to fire him)? I don't know. When he was on the 'Today' show? When he was jumping on a couch at Oprah? He changed his handler, you know, to his sister (LeAnne Devette) -- not a good idea."