Script Idol: The Fight To Become Tom Cruise's Next Movie

Tom Cruise’s search for his next film has become sort of an untelevised, inside-Hollywood reality show. Like Survivor or The Apprentice but with scripts—all vying to become his next movie.

He’s already eliminated The 28th Amendment and, as we discovered today, Universal’s romantic comedy Lost for Words.

So which of the remaining projects will Cruise choose? We size up the competition.

DreamWorks’ drama Motorcade, directed by Live Free or Die Hard helmer Len Wiseman: Cruise has never worked with Wiseman or the film’s writer Billy Ray (State of Play, Shattered Glass), which might appeal to him. Plus it’s been a while since he did a straight-out action movie (the last one was Mission: Impossible III), and they’re usually his best performers at the box office. Also, nabbing Cruise, who’s a fairly hot property again after the succes of Valkyrie, would be a nice coup for the newly independent DreamWorks as it lines up its next slate of films.

Spyglass’ remake of The Tourist, co-starring Charlize Theron and directed by Bharat Nalluri: This project would allow Cruise to reunite with Valkyrie writer Christopher McQuarrie, who’s penning and producing the film, but that’s all we know about it so far since the movie’s not even listed on IMDB. Nonetheless, it’s twice been referred to as Cruise’s next project.

Fox’s action comedy Wichita, co-starring Cameron Diaz and directed by James Mangold: Do we really need another action romantic comedy? We’ve already got Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl’s Five Killers. And while we liked Cruise and Diaz’s last pairing, Vanilla Sky, the film got mixed reviews. Still, Wichita has a talented director and writer: Mangold helmed Walk the Line and 3:10 to Yuma and scribe Scott Frank, who’s rewriting the script, penned Minority Report and Out of Sight.

MGM’s The Matarese Circle, possibly opposite Denzel Washington and directed by David Cronenberg: For a while, The Matarese Circle was considered one of the most likely contenders to be Cruise’s next movie, but Variety says it’s merely “still in the mix,” not listing it with the first three as Cruise’s “frontrunners.” But, it would be nice of him if he attached himself to an MGM project since the studio, which owns his United Artists, is trying to become a thriving production company again. With Cruise, Washington and Cronenberg, it would be MGM’s most high-profile film.

We also find it interesting that Variety didn’t mention The Hardy Men, the Ben Stiller project about the grown-up Hardy Boys Cruise was long reported to be doing with his longtime pal Stiller. Is that film dead?

Regardless, which one of Cruise’s contenders will win? Which ones will fail?

And which script will generate so much buzz from all of this free publicity that it will get a more bankable actor like Will Smith to star in it and make a killing at the box office? Only time will tell…


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