Paramount to Cruise: Thanks for bringing in JJ Abrams, now buh bye

Last night it was revealed that Paramount Pictures has ended it’s long relationship with Tom Cruise and producer partner Paula Wagner. It has been reported that Paramount Chief Brad Grey and Cruise/Wagner were in negotiations for restructuring their deal (downwards), and most expected them to come to a deal. Now it appears that Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone (pictured with Cruise: right) has stepped in and cut off all talks and sent Cruise packing. Paula Wagner isn’t going down without a fight and has fired back regarding how much cash Cruise has brought in to the Paramount family, stated they have been responsible for 15% of revenue since they were brought on board. She also cited bringing in JJ Abrams to the Paramount family. Abrams’ work with Cruise and Wagner on Mission Impossible 3 convinced Paramount they wanted him for the long term; recently signing him to a 5 year deal with Star Trek XI as his first film. But it appears that Cruise’s antics are just too much for Redstone who took the unusual step of commenting on his reasons:

As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal,…His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount

Mission Accomplished?
It would also appear that this marks the end of the Mission Impossible franchise. JJ Abrams 3rd entry to the franchise has earned the least of the 3 but still brought in $400 million worldwide and is expected to bring in another $200 million in home sales. It appears that Redstone is blaming Cruise (and clearly not Abrams) for the film not topping $500 or more as they may have expected. It has also been reported that although the budget was $150, Cruises extremely lucrative deal may make it almost impossible to do much more than break even. So a MI4 film is probably not in JJ Abrams future.

UPDATE: Not so fast…is MI4 Possible? 

CNN Money:Paramount: Cruise is Risky Business

Variety: War of Words

Irish Examiner: Wagner on Abrams

TMZ: In H’Wood, Candor was Never Paramount, Until Now

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I sure wouldn’t want to bring back an employee that tried to blackmail me. Paramount is the parent company of Comedy Central. He threatened to stop all promotion of MI3 (you know the movie they paid him 60 friggin’ million for) if they re-aired the scientology episode. I wouldn’t put up with it either!

I *must* agree on this point as well. Tom Cruise has made himself an undesirable commodity. His antics over the past few years, his disturbing behavior and public comments are above and beyond the acceptable norm when considering his position in the public posture. You, as a super – mega – star (if there is such a thing) is to appeal to the largest combination of demographical categories as conceivably possible. I gave up on Cruise years ago. He’s always left a bad taste in my mouth, or at least since he started publicly attacking each and every form of medication, regardless of health benefit. I take medications for my heart that keep me alive. Scientology scares me… but I can say this for them: in my community (Dallas, Texas) they keep to themselves. They aren’t out soliciting “personality surveys” on the street, as they were decades ago. Box office poison. His statements are inflammatory and though there *are* many other actors in Hollywood that make statements equally as controversial, I highly doubt that they command the salary that Tom Cruise expects… Just, of course, in my humble opinion.