Redstone 'will not object' to Cruise in 'M:I-4'
Exec would welcome Paramount's decision"Mission: Impossible 4" could be coming -- just not any time soon.
A well-placed source has confirmed an initial conversation over the prospect of attaching Tom Cruise to a third "M:I" sequel. Paramount execs are considering the possibility, but there is no script or project green light.
Longtime Cruise attorney Bert Fields stressed that there are no active talks on the matter. The Associated Press, in noting conciliatory comments by Viacom topper Sumner Redstone, who had been a Cruise critic, had reported that the actor "is in talks with Paramount."
In any event, both parties involved in the Cruise-Redstone imbroglio two years ago seem to have buried the hatchet.
Redstone ended Paramount Studios' long-running production relationship with Cruise and producing partner Paula Wagner in August 2006, with Cruise and Wagner resurfacing soon after as the new executive team running MGM's United Artists. Then, in a much-noted sign of the parties' rapprochement, Redstone dined with Cruise in March at a Beverly Hills restaurant.
On Tuesday, Redstone told reporters in Seoul that he has no objection to Cruise starring in an "M:I 4," and Fields told The Hollywood Reporter that his client has no hard feelings.
"Tom wouldn't foreclose on working for Paramount," Fields said. "He will take any situation on its merits and decide whether the project is good or not. He certainly is not nursing any grievance against Paramount or Sumner Redstone."
Redstone broke with Cruise over what he said at the time was the actor's "recent conduct." The split followed Cruise's jumping on a couch as a guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and debating "Today" host Matt Lauer over antidepressant drugs.
"I consider Tom Cruise a great actor and a good friend," Redstone said in response to an AP reporter's question Tuesday at the Seoul Digital Forum. "If Paramount decides -- and they will make the decision -- to move ahead with him, I will not object."
Redstone stressed that he didn't know whether Cruise would be cast in "M:I 4." "That's up to Brad Grey, who runs Paramount," Redstone said. "He will make the decision."
At the Seoul forum, Redstone gave a keynote address on the importance of original content and copyright protection.
"Audiences are the ultimate arbiters of success in the media age," Redstone said.
Mark Russell in Seoul contributed to this report.