Tom Cruise’s United Artists is looking more like a way to get the publicity-challenged actor work more than anything else*. The newly revived UA made Lions for Lambs, a Robert Redford drama about the military, its first production, and Cruise got a job in that. Now UA has bought a WWII thriller for Bryan Singer to direct… and Cruise will star in that.
The announcement that Cruise is starring has teased more info about the project, which reteams Singer with The Usual Suspects screenwriter Chris McQuarrie. The movie is about a plot by German generals to knock off Adolf Hitler, and Cruise will play the head of the assassins. This really happened in WWII, and a bomb intended to kill Adolf came close enough to injure der Fuhrer. If McQuarrie’s script is based on factual events, there’s a good chance that Cruise will be playing Lt. Colonel Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, who made three attempts on Hitler’s life before getting the firing squad.
Cruise will be just one face in what is being described as an ensemble cast. The movie itself is supposed to be a return to cheaper filmmaking for Singer, who blew close to 300 million dollars having Superman pick stuff up last summer, but Cruise’s involvement would seem to make this movie about 20 million dollars more expensive than it originally was, unless the actor-cum-mogul is taking a pay cut.
The film will shoot this summer, which seems to sink any final hopes that Cruise will be available to play Ozymandias in Watchmen, which Zack Snyder is hoping to also get underway in the warm months.