By in March 14, 2007 • Filed in: Press

Tom visited a construction site in Crenshaw (LA) yesterday. Here you have a preview, more at the gallery.{nl}Visiting A Construction Site in Cranshaw – March 13th 2007{nl}{nl}{nl}{nl}{nl}{nl}UNITED ARTISTS GRABS BRYAN SINGER THRILLER{nl}United Artists toppers Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner have greenlit their second film, an original thriller that Bryan Singer will direct as his next feature. {nl}The untitled film re-teams Singer with “The Usual Suspects” screenwriter Chris McQuarrie. {nl}Singer and McQuarrie will produce. The drama is the duo’s first original collaboration since “The Usual Suspects.” {nl}Set in WWII, the project is similar to “Suspects” in that it is a multi-character ensemble piece. {nl}Singer and McQuarrie took the project directly to Wagner and Cruise, who agreed to finance it almost immediately. {nl}The film will delay Warner Bros.’ hope of mounting a sequel to “Superman Returns” in the near future. Singer’s Bad Hat Harry banner has an overall deal at WB, where he is developing several films that include that sequel and the Harvey Milk biopic “The Mayor of Castro Street.” He also is directing “Football Wives,” a series pilot for ABC and ABC TV Studio. The new project begins production this summer. {nl}Cruise and Wagner resuscitated the UA label in November. They are in production on the Robert Redford-directed drama “Lions for Lambs,” which stars Redford, Cruise and Meryl Streep. The film will be released Nov. 9 by MGM. {nl}”Bryan is one of the great filmmakers working today and Chris is an exceptional writer, and for Tom and me, this was an exciting opportunity for our second picture,” Wagner said. {nl}Compared with recent tentpoles “Superman Returns” and the first two “X-Men” pics, Singer’s latest project carries a moderate pricetag. {nl}”This was something Chris showed me late last year, and we worked on it quietly during the holidays,” Singer told Daily Variety. “We brought it to UA and it was nice one-stop shopping. We decided it was the right place to make this movie, as opposed to shopping it around. It’s a period in history that has always fascinated me, and we found a very interesting story that materialized into a pretty wonderful script.” {nl}UA, which is in the process of securing capitalization from Merrill Lynch upward of $400 million, plans to make four to six films per year but has been selective. The company has acquired several development projects, including the Stanley Alpert book “The Birthday Party.” {nl}Singer’s repped by WMA, McQuarrie by Ken Kamins. {nl}Source: Variety{nl}{nl}{nl}{nl}{nl}MEMO TO TOM CRUISE{nl}Before reading the article, here and here you have some info about the author of the article: Peter Bart, so you’ll understand his point.{nl}Recent press accounts of your new role at United Artists have been both snarky and ubiquitous. “Mission Improbable: Tom Cruise As Mogul,” headlined a piece in last week’s New York Times. “Can a Megastar Revive a Dormant United Artists?” asked the deck. {nl}You’re accustomed to taking shots from the media, Tom, but here’s one thought that may assuage you: You are not exactly alone on your start-up mission. Look around town and you’ll find at least six regimes that have lifted off during the past year, most of them encountering the same start-up skepticism. {nl}So that’s the good news, Tom: You are not alone. Now for the bad news: Experience shows that “starting over” in the studio business is akin to picking one’s way through a minefield. {nl}Having said all this, the freshman fraternity is a distinguished one. Oren Aviv is just getting started as head of production at Disney. Mark Shmuger and David Linde have been in business at Universal for barely a year. Harvey and Bob Weinstein have been up and running at their new entity for a little over a year. Chris McGurk has unveiled his new company, Overture Films, under the aegis of John Malone. And Brad Grey this month celebrates his second anniversary at Paramount. {nl}Then, of course, we have start-up regimes at three of the specialty labels in town, such as Warner Independent (Polly Cohen), Vantage (John Lesher) and the new Miramax (Daniel Battsek). And Les Moonves is giving signals he’ll trigger his movie machine in the coming weeks. {nl}All these start-ups are having problems mobilizing their new slates, Tom, and there’s no reason to expect you and your partner, Paula Wagner, will face an easier path. {nl}The obstacles facing the newcomers can be arrayed as follows: {nl}{nl}{nl}{nl}The new guys have no record on creative issues. Will they establish their own development hell of endless script tinkering? Will they be dictatorial about final cut and release dates? {nl}{nl}{nl}The newcomers, by and large, lack the big popcorn product to help propel their slates — tentpoles to which they can attach a trailer or that can leverage exhibitors for better playdates. {nl}{nl}{nl}The new regimes have no backlog of material, having tossed out nearly every script developed by the prior studio boss (the standard ego ploy). Mindful of this void, agents diligently submit moldy old projects rejected by every other studio rather than expose their new goodies. {nl}{nl}{nl}Studios with entrenched executives, such as Fox or Warner Bros., can fall back on longstanding talent relationships while the newcomers must scramble to establish those ties. Even Fox, which is famously tough on the dealmaking process, still retains a small but elite coterie.{nl}Besides these concerns, Tom, there are other potential obstacles to your cause. You’re a big star: Will other stars feel spooked about confronting you as their overseer? We’re hip to the fact that the CAA machine will be vigorously behind you (after all, they played a major role in inventing the deal), but will that in itself discourage help from other talent agencies? {nl}So, facing all this, what’s the best formula for success? Every studio titan of the past had his own pat recommendation. Give more creative freedom to the talent, said Arthur Krim. Always go first class, said Louis B. Mayer. Keep the savages in their place, said Harry Cohn. {nl}Well, maybe, but when times get tough, it may also be prudent to listen to Oprah the Oracle. On several recent shows, she’s been touting a book called “The Secret” as the elixir for success. The basic epiphany of this feel-good tome comes down to this: You can reinvent your own life through your inner thoughts. You can even manipulate physical reality by imposing steely control over your feelings. Oprah’s formula for personal empowerment thus represents what she calls the ultimate “chicken soup of the soul.” {nl}So if things get tough, Tom, go the Oprah route. You’re pretty good at mobilizing your inner feelings. Go for it. I mean, soulful chicken soup is better than chicken sh… {nl}Well, you know what I’m driving at. {nl}Source: Variety