By in March 22, 2007 • Filed in: Press

United Artists has set Tom Cruise to star for director Bryan Singer in the untitled WWII thriller that will begin production in the summer. {nl}Since Cruise and C/W partner Paula Wagner took MGM topper Harry Sloan’s offer last fall to resuscitate the UA label and make four to six films per year, Cruise has taken a starring role in the first two pictures. {nl}Chris McQuarrie wrote the script with Nathan Alexander. Singer and McQuarrie will produce, and Alexander will be co-producer. {nl}UA partners Cruise and Wagner made a deal last week for the film (Daily Variety, March 14), which is the first original project teaming Singer and McQuarrie since “The Usual Suspects.” {nl}Cruise and Wagner quickly agreed to set the film as UA’s second production commitment. The first is “Lions for Lambs,” the Robert Redford-directed drama that stars Redford, Cruise and Meryl Streep. That film, scripted by Matthew Michael Carnahan, will be released Nov. 9 by MGM. {nl}Singer and McQuarrie brought the WWII project to Cruise and Wagner because they felt the material would be a good match for UA. Singer, who is in the early stages of mounting a sequel to “Superman Returns,” was able to fit it in before the Man of Steel is ready to take off again for Warner Bros. and Legendary. {nl}At the time UA made the deal, Cruise sparked to it only as a project for the studio. That changed quickly. The thriller is based on actual events, as German generals hatch a scheme to assassinate Adolph Hitler at the height of WWII. In subsequent meetings, Singer asked Cruise if he wanted to play a central role and he agreed Tuesday. {nl}”After reading the script, Tom and I knew immediately that this was a film we had to make,” Wagner said. “As an added bonus, because of Bryan Singer’s involvement and Tom’s admiration for him as a filmmaker as well as the excellence of the script, the project attracted Tom as an actor. I cannot think of a more perfect combination of creative elements for our second production.” {nl}While the thriller is framed in Europe during WWII, it is a relatively inexpensive film compared with the tentpoles that Singer has directed recently. It also has the ensemble character intrigue present in “The Usual Suspects.” {nl}Source: Variety