Tom Cruise and United Artist

For anyone that doesn’t know what United Artist is, it was a movie studio that ran out of MGM who made (back in the day) a lot of big movies. United Artist had the distinction of making almost all of the James Bond movies before United Artist along with its parent company MGM were bought out by Sony (Columbia pictures and Tristar pictures). MGM has continued to be used while United Artist was shelved…up until yesterday.


originally there was a breaking news from IMDB.com late afternoon yesterday, but I wasn’t fast enough to put it up on the site, but this one is from darkhorizons.com:

Cruise/Wagner To Run United Artists
Posted: Friday November 3rd 2006 12:06am
Source: Assorted Sources
Author: Garth Franklin

It hasn’t been that long since they split from Paramount Pictures, but already Tom Cruise and his producing partner Paula Wagner have found a new home. The pair are set to head up United Artists, MGM Pictures speciality label that has been around for nearly nine decades.

When Sony bought out MGM in April last year, the future of the company seemed uncertain. Even when MGM reverted back to being a distributor earlier this year, UA’s fate remained pretty quiet with only two films on its 2006 slate, “The Woods” and “Romance & Cigarettes”. The former was released direct to video last month, the later is still on the shelf.

Now things have changed with Cruise/Wagner having bought a “substantial minority financial stake” in the company, the pair will set UA’s production slate and have authority to green light projects up to a certain budget. That budget is rumoured to be as high as $60 million per project.

Wagner will serve as CEO, Cruise will star in and produce some UA films though will remain available to do movies at other studios. UA will produce around four films a year, with MGM handling worldwide marketing and distribution.

MGM will finance the films at first, and hopefully grow to become self-sustaining. Content wise the aim is to produce high concept, commercially appealing projects rather than art house films as UA had become known for in recent years.

In its heyday, the studio was responsible for many of the greatest films of the 20th century including “The African Queen”, “Some Like it Hot”, “The Alamo”, “The Magnificent Seven”, “West Side Story”, “The Great Escape”, “Midnight Cowboy”, “In the Heat of the Night”, “Last Tango in Paris”, “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, “Network”, “Annie Hall”, “Apocalypse Now”, “Rain Man”, “Bowling for Columbine”, “Hotel Rwanda” & “Capote”.

Its three most notable franchises – the James Bond, Pink Panther and Rocky Balboa series – were sold to Sony Pictures in the 2005 deal. Despite MGM and UA having now re-asserted themselves, control of both franchises will remain with Sony Pictures at present. It’s not sure whether UA will operate as a silent partner on future films as they are doing with the upcoming “Casino Royale”.

Cool. I think its great. What the head of Parmount wanted was to show that the studios still had power and that the age of the money eating movie stars was over. He said so, on IMDB.com two days ago:

Sumner Redstone has resumed his attack on Tom Cruise, charging in an interview with Vanity Fair that Cruise “was embarrassing the studio. And he was costing us a lot of money.” The Viacom chairman peremptorily cut off ties between his Paramount studios and Cruise’s production company last August without apparently discussing his decision to do so with then-Viacom chief Tom Freston or Paramount Chairman Brad Grey. However, according to the Vanity Fair interview, he did consult with his wife Paula. “Paula, like women everywhere, had come to hate him. The truth of the matter is, I did listen to her,” he said. “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.” Redstone estimated that Cruise’s controversial appearances on the Today show, when he chastised interviewer Matt Lauer for being “glib” and on Oprah, when he jumped on Winfrey’s couch, cost Paramount “$100 million, $150 million on Mission: Impossible III.It was the best picture of the three, and it did the worst.” Redstone concluded that his decision to axe Cruise “sent a message to the rest of the world that the time of the big star getting all this money is over. And it is! I would like to think that what I did, or what we did, has had a salutary effect on the rest of the industry.”

No Tom Cruise has his own freaking movie studio! Go figure!

Good for him, he’ll have a whole studio at his disposal (not a real movie lot studio, just making sure you have that clear, but the office and the monetary status of having any movie that he wants produced and filmed that’s what he’ll be able to do).

Dammit what I would do to be Tom Cruise right now…aside from all the crazy Scientology stuff…

–Socram

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