Studios spend millions for Tom Cruise-demanded script re-writes

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Do people still want to work with Tom Cruise? Apparently, they do. Not only that, studios are shelling out millions of dollars to keep Tom happy. After his neverending Valkyrie press tour, Tom Cruise has been weighing his options for his next role, now that his “comeback” is complete. Tom has no fewer than three films that he’s seriously weighing – to the point where studios are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a week for script re-writes to make Tom happy. Variety has more:

Tom Cruise is narrowing the prospects for his next film, but no matter which he chooses, he has single-handedly propped up the script doctoring biz: Studios have spent millions of dollars in rewrite fees to custom-tailor projects for the star.

The frontrunners for his next film appear to be Dreamworks drama “Motorcade,” to be directed by Len Wiseman, followed by Spyglass remake “The Tourist” (with Charlize Theron), to be helmed by Bharat Nalluri, and Fox action comedy Wichita (with Cameron Diaz), which James Mangold will direct. Also still in the mix is MGM’s “The Matarese Circle,” which potentially matches Cruise with Denzel Washington and helmer David Cronenberg.

No longer in the mix are Universal Pictures/Working Title romantic comedy “Lost for Words,” to be directed by Susanne Bier, and “The 28th Amendment,” the drama Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck will helm for Warner Bros.

While screenwriters all over town have been taking haircuts on every deal, the script doctors in the Cruise derby have been making as much as $250,000 a week, for two to six weeks, as they hone projects with notes from Cruise. Those writers include Scott Frank, who has been revising the action comedy “Wichita” for Cruise to play an action hero; Richard Curtis, who beefed up “Lost for Words”; and Paul Attanasio, who is now rewriting the rewrite that “Matarese Circle” director Cronenberg delivered.

Meanwhile, Billy Ray continues to hone “Motorcade” with notes from Cruise. Christopher McQuarrie is doing the same on “The Tourist,” which the writer is also producing. (Ray and McQuarrie are not technically script doctors because they’ve been writing these projects for months.) And Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci also did some reworking of “28th Amendment,” which they originally sold as a spec script in 1999.

[From Variety]

So is Tom just being fussy? Is Tom Cruise the Biggest Movie Star In the World back in town, throwing around his weight? Or is Tom, a known perfectionist when it comes to his film work, just the same as he always was? Lots of stars ask for and receive re-writes, but usually they’re only working with one script at a time, and the re-writes really aren’t this extensive or expensive. I think the best choices are the one with Cameron Diaz, and the David Cronenberg one. Tom Cruise plus Cronenberg would be really interesting… I would totally pay for that.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are shown on 2/4/09 and 2/21/09 at Valkyrie premieres. Credit:

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14 Responses to “Studios spend millions for Tom Cruise-demanded script re-writes”

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  1. truth-SF says:

    He’s certainly not THE biggest movie star in the world anymore (Will Smith took that title), but he is still in the top 10. He’s latest movie Valkyrie’ has grossed over $200 Million worldwide, Pretty impressive for a guy who was on his way out. He’s still bat-shit crazy to me, but he’s still a good actor.

  2. skldfj says:

    who the hell does he think he is?!?!?! he is no better than any other person involved in film making, including screen writers. Actors think they are f*cking gods! this disgusts me

  3. anastasiabeaverhausen says:

    I have to get this out of the way first, I can never get over that header pic: her boobs start halfway down her torso and her feet are bigger than her head.

    Ok, now, I really wish Tom Cruise would buy an island somewhere in the middle of the Pacific and retire to it forever and ever, amen, the end.

  4. Your Friend says:

    man, i wish he could give me some work.

    how about if i converted to the DARK SCIDE?

  5. Hieronymus Grexx says:

    Spend all the money you like Tom, you’ll still be a short, second rate, couch jumping hack actor.

  6. Vibius says:

    I have no plans to pay for a Tom Cruise movie ever again. Either its on cable or I could care less.

  7. heima says:

    can a re-write of a script really cost MILLIONS of dollars? it sounds a bit exaggerated…
    i used to find him unbearable as a person, but after seeing his performance in tropic thunder i have had another proof that he is really, really a good actor.
    probably the most gifted of his generation.

    ps: she’s a cute girl, but her eyes look empty and without soul lately… poor thing.

  8. Amy says:

    Re-writes are normal so I’m not sure why this is a major story. I’m not familiar with scriptwriters and their pay but I can’t imagine they get paid 250,000 a week. I thought they made that much for the first script and more when the movie is made.

  9. heh-heh says:

    Back in the 1970s, top screenwriters like Robert Towne
    (Chinatown) were getting 100,000 a week for rewriting
    It wouldn’t surprise me if someone snagged
    a rewriting contract for a quarter million a week…IF
    they were a star’s favorite writer.

    Having said that, I’m seeing a lot less of this grinning
    psychotic and his glassy-eyed wife. I guess the younger
    famewhores are more interesting now to the tabs.

  10. Gloaming says:

    Tom Cruise is one of many actors who are able to get re-writes, until his movies stop making a profit he will continue to do so….
    I can’t see David Cronenberg wanting to work with him though.
    His actors come to the set unrehearsed, the way he likes it, i doubt the great overlord would like that very much.

  11. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    LOL @ Anastasiabeaverhausen.

    Them boobs have seen much better days.

  12. mike nike says:

    Man, when is this guy going to retire. I’m done watching his movies. The Matt Laurer and Scientology thing makes my stomach turn.

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