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December 30 2008

'Cabin In The Woods' - the Tom Cruise connection. From today's Variety: "[Mary Parent] did steer Joss Whedon's horror film 'The Cabin in the Woods' to Cruise and convinced him to make it as a UA movie".

Hi-larious tags, Mr Simon.

And Tom loved the script SO much he started jumping on couches and running around singing in a shirt and smalls, no?!
A reason to like Tom Cruise again.
I guess it fits with connections too. Tom Cruise --> J.J. Abrams (via M:I:III) --> Drew Goddard (via Lost, Alias, Cloverfield) --> Joss Whedon (duh).
Smalls = Knickers!
Though for Tom, they'd also be small.
I didn't realise it was a UA movie.
It's unclear from how it's written but I don't think it was, originally. I think this might be new. I'm waiting to hear about from MGM.
It's been UA, distributed by MGM all along, as far as I knew. That was my original intent with the Goners bye-bye blog thing I did a few years ago - UA was formed to give artists control, with Mary there it always seemed to be a good home for a Joss project.
Is this the knickers thread? Am I late? Did anything happen yet?

I have a song I sing about underpants and panties, but it's different every time I sing it, so it's not really a "song" so much as it is the idea of a song. About underwears.

Or, yeah, I guess we could talk about the movie.

Jeez. Buzzkills.
Maybe it is old news. But if so, it was never actually reported by the press. It's always been reported as MGM, without any mention of UA.

ETA that in fact, Parent doesn't appear to have become seriously active in UA's activities until September, after Paula Wagner left. Said article stated, at that time:
"Valkyrie," due out Dec. 26, is the only other picture on UA's release schedule.

But, hey, what’s to stop Parent from guiding some MGM projects UA’s way so they can take advantage of the UA fund and fill its near-bare cupboard? Parent declined to comment on that.

So, I think the Cabin being UA thing is new. Or relatively so. It certainly doesn't appear to have been UA since it got greenlit in July.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2008-12-31 09:13 ]
UA would be a great place for anything Whedonesque.

I respect the hell out of Tom Cruise for giving the filmmakers--the artists--free reign.
Also is it "Cabin in the Woods" or "The Cabin in the Woods"?
The official MGM press release said The Cabin in the Woods.
Oh. Okay, I just wanted it to be UA, then.

Other things I would like to come true: ceasefire over Gaza and calorie free waffle. (Just one, for me).

[ edited by gossi on 2008-12-31 09:39 ]
I'll take the calories from your one waffle, if that will help.
I don't think that a distinction between MGM and UA matters much anymore.
Disgust with Tom Cruise in general aside, this is pretty cool. I wonder what he'll come up with to coincide with THIS movie release? Another kid?
I don't know if this has been addressed here already in the previous threads, but does this mean that Goners may be a goer now that Mary Parent is attached to MGM/UA instead of Universal. The Msn Movies section on Mary Parent says that Goners is due for release in 2011 here and here. Anybody?

[ edited by RollingInKittens on 2008-12-31 13:45 ]
Well, if Mary Parent's attached to some high-profile successes then she'll presumably have more leeway to acquire "pet" properties, in that sense her success can't hurt 'Goners' chances.

ceasefire over Gaza

I think this would only help really tall people. They should have a ceasefire over, in and under Gaza, just to be fair to short people too. Also miners.

The financing of that entity, and sister company MGM, is more complex and suspenseful than the plot of the Tom Cruise WWII thriller.

Hmm, reckon I might skip 'Valkyrie' in that case.

(more seriously, it's got the problem of a lot of historical stories in that obviously we know - at least roughly - how it ends. Not a death blow by any stretch - look at "Schindler's List" - but it has to make it harder)
Makes sense Saje, thanks! (and thanks to the four other people who make up you.) ; )
Does this mean I have to go see Valkyrie and Cruise and indirectly support scientology in order to make certain Cabin gets made? There are limits to my being a Joss fan.
Rather than have this thread get bogged down by discussion of an actor's personal belief system I'll direct y'all to the Library at Flick for such debate.
Apologies, Simon.
As much as I dislike the man, Tom Cruise is admittedly - an incredibly talented actor. It just goes along that whole "I don't have to like the artist in order to like the art" line. I LOVE Guns N Roses (Yes. I'm old. Now get off of my lawn.) but I hate Axl Rose with a passion.

Tom Cruise tagging onto this can only mean good things in terms of production value and turn out, so definately a "Yay!" here.
IMO, Tom Cruise is a movie star, not an actor. Big diff. Never liked him.
RollingInKittens, there's never been solid information about Goners in the wake of Parent's switch to MGM. We know it was in rewrites before that, and then she left Universal.

No one has ever made it clear (not that they have to, and I don't know if anyone's ever even asked) whether the rights to it still remain at Universal or whether it's been dead so long they've perhaps reverted back to Joss anyway.
If his "movie starness" can get help Joss, then I consider this of the good. But I agree with you. He's not an actor. And if I ever get all "omg he's SO adorable" (as I have with nearly every other Whedonverse member, most recently NPH, just shoot me, 'kay? 'Cause that means I've gone off the deep end and ain't comin' back.

[ edited by josswhedonaddict on 2008-12-31 17:27 ]
I've been disappointed about the (apparent) disappearance of Goners, but of course Joss is now fully engaged with Dollhouse and The Cabin in the Woods, so I'll just be thrilled and excited about all of that. If Cruise can bring more attention to The Cabin in the Woods then that is all good, but considering the reviews, I was planning on skipping Valkyrie.
I was planning on skipping Valkyrie anyway...LOL!
Valkyrie is a good movie. I was very impressed. It's one of the rare performances of Cruise's where he doesn't seem to be overperforming. He seemed to really lose himself in the role. And the directing is stunning. I recommend it.

I think this is pretty good news. I just home the movie gets made. And that this will help Goners get made also. Need more Joss stuff, however I can get it!
I went to see Interview with the Vampire and though I liked the movie at the time, I thought he was miscast. I don't know that I'd see a movie with him in it unless it was free. Maybe not even then, who knows. But even movies that sound appealing in theory usually stop for me BECAUSE he's involved, and that's been going on longer for me than his recent crazy antics. Except Cabin in the Woods, wild horses couldn't drag me away.
But...but...josswhedonaddict, Cruise was the perfect Lestat...

Oh well. No matter how insane he sometimes seems, I think he's a wonderfully talented person.
I think the guy can act, he's possibly bonkers but he can act IMO (though like all "A-list" actors it's quite often hard to see past Tom Cruise™ to the part beneath). Everyone's mileage varies of course.

Whether he can or not is utterly irrelevant to TCitW however (so long as he can produce).
Saje I think the question is whether he can produce the money for TCitW (I like that) and then not do anything else. Because w/Joss Whedon and Mary Parent I think the movie is already in good hands.
Bryan Singer directed Valkyrie and it's his second team-up with writer Christopher McQuarrie (who wrote The Usual Suspects and later went on to solo write/direct the okay-but-fun-and-had-a-great-cast Way of the Gun), so I'll at least give it a rent some day (there're too many other more appealing movies in theatres right now, mostly small stuff). I've at least liked every film of Singer's (Apt Pupil, X-Men, Superman Returns) and loved a couple when I originally saw 'em (Suspects and X-Men 2...I enjoyed re-watching X2 more than Suspects though).

Tom Cruise is a quality actor with the right script, he's not only and always just a movie star. I missed out on pretty much all of his late `80s/early `90s films (and his early-to-mid `80s efforts like Risky Business, Legend, and Top Gun, were/are fun, but not necessarily because of Cruise. Definitely not because of Cruise, in Legend's case). I thought he did okay in Interview With A Vampire (I've never read Anne Rice, so I dunno how accurate or accepted his portrayal of Lestat was), fine in Jerry Maguire, effective in Magnolia and Vanilla Sky, added to Minority Report, and did great playing dad in War Of The Worlds...and I know it's overhyped, but his part in Tropic Thunder was fun too--just the dancing there was too much of). If he ends up being good for Whedon projects, or even just this one, awesome.

Heh, I forgot Days of Thunder (yeck) and Far & Away, which might've been the first overlong sweeping romantic epic I enjoyed (was his Irish accent any better than Boreanaz's ? It must have been, otherwise I'd remember the pain...the horrible audible earful of pain).

[ edited by Kris on 2008-12-31 20:50 ]
B!x, thanks for the update on Goners, and here's hoping the rights came with Mary to MGM and United Artists. *crosses fingers and toes and, while I'm at it, eyes* (which is kinda maki ng this har d to typ e.)
Valkyrie is a Nazi movie that forgets that the Holocaust existed, and makes heroic a man who wanted to kill Hitler not because he was a crazed anti-semite who killed millions of Jews but because he was going to lose the war. I will never, ever see this. And if I would have, I would not because I long ago stopped watching anything that Tom Cruise was in. You could make him the star of Buffy Mark 2 and I would not watch.

So, yep, this news saddens me.
That's a shame... I have only but revulsion for Tom Cruise, as his system of beliefs denies clinical depression, a condition both I and my mother have. Plus he makes a horrible German, as he's obviously too lazy to learn German or to even do a German accent. When I see him, its not as Claus von Stauffenburg, but as Tom Cruise with an eye patch. And the fact that even an eye patch, the epitome awesomeness in ocular wear, doesn't make him any cooler speaks volumes.

That said, he was funny in Tropic Thunder. And I know he's not actually going to be in Cabin, its just that any relation with him is unfortunate.
Keep in mind, in all the bile (some of which I share), that part of the point of this move, if you look at the financials, is to let Cabin be funded by the known pool of money over at UA. Not saying this is the case, but hypothetically: If it came down to making Cabin under UA and Cruise or not making it at all, which would you choose?

Just sayin'.
And just sayin' I agree!!
I didn't think it would, but FWIW this definitely has no effect upon the film's intended production schedule.
As far as Mr. Cruise goes - watch Magnolia.

I saw him in person a few weeks ago, and was surprised by how much better he looks on camera than in person - it's usually the other way around. He seemed friendly, though, and he has a very nice smile.

I just want Cabin to be made (even though the title ALWAYS makes me think of Evil Dead: The Musical.)
I wonder if people will see similarities between Joss' opus and Lars Von Trier's new movie 'Antichrist' which is a horror movie set in a cabin in the woods.
Funny, Simon, I was just reading the AICN item on that.
I read it today as well but I remember seeing something about it ages ago in Production Weekly (I think) and it's stayed in my head ever since.
Bix- not making it. No question.
Tom Cruise is not going to be injecting Scientology into the movie, or into Joss himself. It's business. I think it's silly to bring our personal feelings for Tom Cruise into this.
It's been confirmed that the plot of Cabin has been slightly altered so that it will revolve around the ghost of L. Ron Hubbard haunting a number of teenagers. He gets angry when they refuse to read Dianetics. Very spooky
Let's try avoid the Scientology wank shall we?
Dana5140 said:
"Valkyrie is a Nazi movie that forgets that the Holocaust existed

Bryan Singer is a Jewish gay man who's gone out of his way to include moments in the majority of his films that can be interpreted as allusions to the hardships non-heterosexuals can endure (or any type that has ever been discriminated against, re: the first two X-Men flicks) and the atrocities and suffering caused by the Holocaust (actually Apt Pupil is pretty plain about it, not to mention everything involving Magneto's childhood/flashbacks in the X-Men films, plus part of what motivates him to gain mutant supremacy--the ironic part being that his efforts end up hurting and intimidating--in #2 he tries to kill all the humans--and he basically risks becoming the monster that created him in some respects). There is no way Singer would ignore it. Descrimination, surviving it, etc, is often the lifeblood of his films.

Also, where are you getting your info from ? Just because the film does not focus on that particular aspect of World War 2 and the events leading up to it, does not mean the Holocaust is denied within the film. It simply is not the focus. There have been many many WW2 films that do and don't focus on the Holocaust (though most reference it). A lotta shit happened during the war, a lotta things can be focused on.

"and makes heroic a man who wanted to kill Hitler not because he was a crazed anti-semite who killed millions of Jews but because he was going to lose the war."

Without seeing it, you don't know for sure that he is made to look heroic or without faults, without tragic flaws. Also, just because he is a monster, doesn't mean a movie shouldn't be made about it (though obviously, yes, you don't have to go to see it). They've made plenty of films about villains or people who thought they were doing the right thing, but possibly for selfish reasons...sometimes these stories turn out to be good films.

Problems with Tom Cruise, cool, I get that. It's just like our discussions about Orson Scott Card and not wanting to pay any money for his books and comics so that not a cent goes toward a man that has spoken out against the legitimacy of homosexuality and whatnot. It's a personal choice, to forego potentially good or great art in order to take a stand (however small) and not support someone we disagree with through monetary compensation.

SteppeMerc said:
"That's a shame... he makes a horrible German, as he's obviously too lazy to learn German or to even do a German accent."

This is potentially the biggest disappointment from what I've been hearing about this film. Maybe he tried with a dialect coach but in the end just couldn't get it and sounded ridiculous ? I'd say in that case they should've just gone with an actor who can handle accents (or, y'know, hire a German dude. Or better yet, have the film be in the correct language and just subtitle it for English and other foreign audiences). But realistically, what studio is gonna turn down the potential box office draw that is Tom Cruise ? And maybe Singer longed to work with him, based on the quality of his better roles.

As for the Whedon connection...even for those of you who hate or are wary of Cruise's involvement, think about it like this--if a Whedon film is made and successful on the back of this guy (partially, to be fair and not give him too much credit), does it really matter ? Potentially good art coming about as a result of someone questionable's involvement ? Your feelings on this point may go back to not wanting to in any way give money to...but with films it gets a lot trickier because there're so many people involved and it's near-impossible that you can guartantee seeing eye-to-eye with every crewmember (also, how would you even know what all of their stances are on, well, any issue). It's easier with authors, but with film and television it just becomes an extreme kind of micromanaging what you'll allow yourself to be entertained by in a way that gives me a headache.

[ edited by Kris on 2009-01-01 11:24 ]
I just watched a History Channel special on the real Valkyre story (some of which I already knew). Brian Singer was briefly interviewed and there was also a brief quote from Tom Cruise. However the film turns out, it was obvious that they (and others asociated with the production) were passionate about the content. And although it didn't focus on the holocaust (which would have made it historically inaccurate), there was nothing to indicate that they were overlooking it completely, much less denying that it existed.
This is such an incredibly compelling story, I hope they do it some justice.

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