With his next movie polling perilously close to a bomb, Tom Cruise is jumping into the fat suit once again to play lunatic movie producer Les Grossman. Paramount Pictures announced today that Cruise would portray Grossman in a new comedy that will be produced by both the star and Ben Stiller. Grossman originated as a supporting character in Stiller’s hit flick “Tropic Thunder” and Cruise reprised the loudmouth role in a series of promos and a live performance for this year’s MTV Movie Awards.
Attempting a ruse that Grossman is actually real, Stiller noted in a statement, “Les Grossman’s life story is an inspiring tale of the classic human struggle to achieve greatness against all odds. He has assured me he plans to quote, ‘[Expletive] kill the [expletive] out of this movie and make Citizen [expletive] Kane look like a piece of crap home movie by the time we are done.” I am honored to be working with him.”
Grossman “reportedly” responded: “To quote my great friend Kirk Lazarus, ‘I don”t read the script, the script reads me.””
Lazarus was a key figure in “Thunder” and landed Robert Downey, Jr. an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. No word if he’ll cameo or if any of the other “Thunder” stars will appear in the new untitled project.
Lastly, demonstrating only Hollywood insiders may finds this concept profitable, Adam Goodman, Paramount Film Group President said, “Everything I learned in this business, I’ve learned from Les. I started out as his assistant, and from the first day he threw his desk at me when I got his lunch order wrong, I have loved him like a father. I am forever grateful to Ben and Stuart Cornfeld and their ability to secure his highly-coveted life rights.”
Michael Bacall (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) will write the screenplay. No word on who might direct, perhaps Alan Smittee?
Cruise will return to the big screen on June 23 with “Knight and Day.” He’s also expected to begin production on “Mission Impossible 4” for director Brad Bird sometime this summer.