Just a few years ago, Tom Cruise and his big fat mouth landed his previously stellar box-office career in the bottom of the gutter. He needed some serious help and, thanks to Ben Stiller, found a bit of a reprieve through a very uncharacteristic cameo in 2008′s Tropic Thunder. Ever since then, we’ve been hearing rumors of a feature-length spinoff with an update last summer that Cruise would star within and produce the Official Les Grossman movie. Now, we’re hearing via MTV that there’s actually a script for this ill-fated mess:
The 2008 comedy smash Tropic Thunder spawned some memorable characters, to say the least. From Robert Downey Jr.’s very method actor Kirk Lazarus to Jack Black’s drug-fueled Jeff Portnoy, there could have been any number of characters from the film that earned their own spin-off movie.
Of course, since no one in the industry has quite the same pull as Tropic Thunder‘s sleazy, rap enthusiast movie honcho Les Grossman (played by a transformed Tom Cruise), there’s no surprise that it’s him.
When MTV News caught up with “Saturday Night Live” funny man Bill Hader at the first-ever Comedy Awards (which air Sunday, April 10 at 8p.m. on Comedy Central, VH1, Spike TV, Logo, CMT, TVLand, and online at thecomedyawards.com) he told us that the Les movie is written and is getting closer to arriving in theaters.
Hader, who appeared in a few Les Grossman skits in anticipation for the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, confirmed that his friend, actor/writer Michael Bacall (who previously penned Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and is currently working on the upcoming remake of Fright Night) “wrote it and he’s told me some really funny scenes from it.”
While Hader admitted he was vague on the details of what the plot for the movie based on Cruise’s loud, boorish exec would actually be about (“I just know the broad strokes. Michael just telling me, ‘I just wrote this scene where blah, blah, blah and I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s funny, man!’”) or when it would finally make it to theaters (Cruise will be busy with Rock of Ages soon) he was sure of one thing, “It’s gonna be great.”
Admittedly, the very idea of Les Grossman as portrayed Tom Cruise was originally an amusing one because the cameo conveniently took place at a point when Cruise was best known for sticking his finger in Matt Lauer’s face and refusing to make fun of himself in any capacity. As Grossman, Cruise did the unthinkable by putting on a fat suit and showing off some disgustingly hilarious raunchy dance moves. Still, will anyone pay to watch the Grossman character for a full 90 minutes onscreen? After all, we’ve already witnessed Cruise losing a bit of his seriousness by aping his own persona in Knight and Day, and that wasn’t exactly the box-office smash it was expected to be.
Nonetheless, SlashFilm attempts to make the case that Cruise’s career doesn’t really need this spinoff movie like it did just a few years ago, but I’m not quite understanding the logic there. What has Tom Cruise done since Lions for Lambs (which lost many tens of millions), Valkyrie (which financially underperformed to a lesser degree), and Knight and Day (which did not return Cruise to the top of the pack either)? Nothing. He desperately needs a hit to keep building underground bunkers at his Telluride mountain estate and still allow Katie to continue poorly dressing herself in ridiculously expensive capri pants. Furthermore, Tom just needs to put a movie out there, like, now to would take the focus off the P-E-N-I-S Gummies. Luckily (or not), Cruise is gearing up to star in the film adaptation of Broadway’s Rock of Ages musical, which arrives with the following synopsis:
Rock of Ages is set in 1987 on the Sunset Strip, where a small town girl meets a big city rocker in L.A.’s most famous rock club. Their love story is told through the hits of Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Twisted Sister, Asia, Whitesnake and many more.
During its continuing Broadway run, the musical has enjoyed five Tony nominations and, from what I gathered last fall after being forced to cross the street to avoid a huge audience in waiting, is quite popular with New York City tourists. Again, do we really want to see Tom Cruise rocking out to Twisted Sister? It gets even weirder from there. While Russell Brand might have actually found his dream role (he’s been confirmed for the role of club owner Lonny, who reportedly performs a rendition of REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling,”), other possible but unconfirmed members of the cast include names like Taylor Swift and Gwyneth Paltrow. That’s the stuff of horror movies!
As a side note on the Les Grossman project and for those who aren’t familiar with Michael Bacall, he’s not only a screenwriter but an actor who played one of the (non-speaking) members of Brad Pitt’s crew in Inglourious Basterds and also had a small role in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof as well. I don’t doubt that he’s perfectly capable of putting together a “funny” script, but based upon the character of Les Grossman, more is usually less.