Tom Cruise Handed Reins to Reborn United Artists
Cruise and Wagner will revive the new United Artists by ramping up production at the long-dormant studio, which in recent years only served as the occasional art-house distributor for parent companies MGM and Sony.
Under the new administration, UA will produce at least four films per year, with Wagner serving as CEO and Cruise as producer and star. MGM will distribute their pics.
Prior to this new gig, Cruise and Wagner were comfortably ensconced in a fourteen-year relationship with Paramount Studios, where they reaped big returns with Cruise vehicles like "Vanilla Sky," "War of the Worlds," and the "Mission: Impossible" franchise.
But by last summer, it appeared the honeymoon was over as Paramount denied Cruise/Wagner their $10 million annual fee following a year's worth of Tom Cruise zaniness in the media (Oprah couch-jumping, Katie Holmes wooing, Scientology-endorsing, psychiatry-bashing, Brooke Shields-feuding).
In any case, Cruise and Wagner have been given near-total reign to "control the development, production, and greenlighting of UA films, though subject to certain parameters."
Cruise has yet to announce his next starring role following this summer's "Mission: Impossible III" (which grossed $395 million worldwide). Cruise/Wagner Productions is in various stages of production on four upcoming films, including remakes of the Pang brothers' Hong Kong horror flick "The Eye" and the 1975 cult film, "Death Race 2000."