Say what you will about Tom Cruise, but the man does not stop working. Celebrating his 60th birthday this year, the actor has maintained a full plate of projects that rival or surpass those of people half his age. While COVID-19 obviously slowed down much of his work on the upcoming 7th and 8th “Mission: Impossible” films and heavily impacted the release of “Top Gun: Maverick,” things are rebounding with a trio of projects that showcase Cruise’s varied talents.
The partnership between Cruise and writer/director/producer Christopher McQuarrie has proved fruitful to say the least. McQuarrie has directed Cruise in “Mission: Impossible – Rouge Nation”, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” “Jack Reacher,” and wrote the aforementioned “Top Gun: Maverick.” The latter of these films has not only gone on to become one of the largest grossing films of all time, but a critical darling that we too enjoyed. It bodes well then that McQuarrie and Cruise are continuing their team up across these upcoming projects.
The duo have already mapped out the work ahead for themselves after they wrap filming on the two-part, “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning.” The first project, and at this stage the least interesting, is just set to be an original action film with hopes of turning it into a franchise. So basically “Mission: Impossible” without the name, and perhaps something with scaled down stunts? Even Ethan Hunt has to call it quits sometime but Cruise still loves that adrenaline rush from doing his own stunts. Maybe this could be the vehicle for that?
Next on the slate is a musical; like a full on singing and dancing kind of a thing. One could immediately call to mind “Rock of Ages.” Cruise did actually sing for the movie, including a rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” and it’s not that bad really. It’s actually better than what Jon Bon Jovi currently sounds like.
“Rock of Ages” is what’s called a Jukebox Musical, where the songs in it are all taken from pre-existing, popular songs. Perhaps this new project will feature original music? Details are still incredibly scarce so all we can do is speculate, but it could be fun to see Cruise taking on something distinctly different than his recent action-oriented fare.
Then there’s the final project involving the character of Les Grossman. It has long been rumored that this character would be utilized in something of his own spin-off, ever since he hit screens in 2008’s “Tropic Thunder.” Cruise was barely even recognizable in the role, but was endearing enough to redeem him in the eyes of audiences. Cruise had in the years leading up to the film had a number of public kerfuffles to put it one way, including the infamous couch jumping on Opera and a tense interview with Matt Lauer.
Les Grossman changed that. Yes, the insane, aggressive, dancing executive who you need to get a binding resolution against to protect yourself from him, helped bring Cruise back from the brink. If ever there was a film character in the last 20 years who deserved to be explored more, it’s Grossman. How they’ve going to use him is anybody’s guess but the results have the potential to be amazing.
Not many actors or actresses can claim to be in the position Cruise is in right now, 40 years into his film career and 60 years old. If he can keep this momentum up then this phase of his career could somehow turn out to be his most lucrative.