Paramount Defends Star Tom Cruise as Divorce News Explodes
The studio doesn't plan to change marketing of "Jack Reacher," says the star's personal life sells magazines, not movie tickets.
As fate would have it, the first trailer for Tom Cruise's next movie Jack Reacher is hitting theaters just as news of his pending divorce from Katie Holmes makes headlines around the world.
Marketing a film is never easy when one of its stars become embroiled in a personal crisis, but Paramount insiders say they don't believe the breakup -- which once again puts the spotlight on Cruise's controversial religion Scientology -- impacts his box-office prowess or Jack Reacher, which opens Dec. 21. His personal life may sell magazines, but his films will stand on their own merit, insiders add.
Later in the day, Paramount issued this statement: "Tom is a huge movie star for the right reason, he’s a very talented actor whose movies have entertained millions of fans. His ability to make a great movie, as we saw with the most recent installment in the "Mission: Impossible" franchise -- the most successful of the series to date -- is the thing that moviegoers remember above all else."
The studio says it has no intention of changing its promotional materials for Jack Reacher, which rely almost exclusively on Cruise's character. The movie's first trailer is attached to Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man, which opens at midnight Monday in North America. Both the domestic and international trailer will be available online Tuesday.
Still, news of the breakup could end a honeymoon period for Cruise, who restored his star power in North America with Paramount's Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol. The December release grossed a massive $693.1 million at the worldwide box office, including $209.4 million domestically. M:I4 was the most successful title of the franchise.
Paramount is no stranger to Cruise's personal life. It was Viacom chief Sumner Redstone who essentially booted Cruise and his production company off the Paramount lot in 2006 after Cruise's comments to Oprah Winfrey about anti-depressants (it was during the same interview that Cruise famously jumped on Oprah's couch).
Redstone wasn't the only one who was offended by Cruise's behavior, with moviegoers across North America souring on the star. When Fox made the 2010 Knight and Day with Cruise and Cameron Diaz, it downplayed Cruise on domestic marketing materials and instead used silhouettes of the two stars.
In time, the relationship between Cruise and Paramount was restored as the studio pursued M:I4.
Jack Reacher -- previously titled One Shot -- is based on Lee Childs' best-selling book about a former military investigator (Cruise) who takes grief from no one. The studio was so keen on the film that it moved Jack Reacher to the lucrative year-end holiday season.
Cruise wasn't only in demand with Paramount after the standout success of M:I4. He played a key role in New Line and Warner Bros.' Rock of Ages and is currently shooting Oblivion for Universal in Iceland.
“Tom is a true superstar who consistently gives 150 percent of himself to every performance, and we are excited and honored to be partners with him," Universal said in a statement.