By now, you’re well aware that countless movies saw their release dates evaporate as the pandemic fully unfurled. Jared Leto as Morbius even broke the most-delayed record (a status that no film wants to have), but he will finally vamp out in theaters on April 1. In the case of Mission: Impossible 7, though, the original 2021 release date got bumped a few times and landed in September 2022. This decision went down even after Tom Cruise went on a profanity-laden tirade over people not following Covid-19 protocols.
In that rant, Tom lectured the crew about how the future of the movie business was in their hands, and the Hollywood Reporter (in a feature-length piece) detailed Tom’s ongoing battles while making this Paramount Pictures blockbuster in such fraught conditions. It’s a fascinating article (if a bit too soon for that sort of dissection), and the part about Tom really not being a streaming dude is something. Tom was apparently so upset with Paramount’s then-CEO Jim Gianopulos (he had to be the guy who told Tom that the movie would move to Paramount+ after only a 45 day theatrical window) that it might be a key reason why Gianopulos got ousted:
Says an associate, “Jim was bridging between what [Paramount’s] Shari [Redstone] and [president and CEO] Bob [Bakish] wanted and what Jim felt was the right thing to do,” which was to protect the relationship with Cruise. “Part of the reason [Jim] is gone is that Shari and Bob thought they could wave a magic wand” and persuade the star to accept the shortened window.
Sure enough, Cruise was having none of it. Seeing himself rightly as Paramount’s most important, not to mention longest-term, partner, he was said to be furious. He had no intention that any of his movies would play for a day less than his standard three-month run. “For him, 45 days is like going day-and-date,” says a Paramount source. He also felt that setting a date when the movie could be seen on the service would discourage people from going to the theater.
The piece also details how talks about the shortened theatrical window ended with Tom agreeing to argue at a later date and contacting his attorneys to alert them for the battle (kind-of understandable, since part of Tom’s pay correlates to box-office dollars). Reportedly, Gianopulos attempted to explain to Tom how the theater industry had changed, and how 45 days seems to be the magical amount of time to capture most box-office revenue for a movie. Tom apparently wasn’t buying it, and yeah, don’t look for Tom Cruise to get big into streaming. He is, after all, the guy who made a big show out of watching Tenet while masked in a theater.
There’s probably no Netflix contract for Tom, in other words. After all, he’s gotta run and perch atop speeding trains on the big screen.
(Via Hollywood Reporter)