Having started his acting career in the early 1980s, American actor Tom Cruise rose to fame with his performances in movies like 1983’s comedy film Risky Business and 1986’s action film Top Gun. The latter turned out to be one of the highest-grossing franchises of all time. By the 1990s, he was one of the most sought-after actors in the industry and played the lead roles in numerous blockbuster movies.

Cruise has starred in multiple action and science fiction movies later in his career. Some of his most notable works include the Mission: Impossible film series produced by Paramount. The seventh installment of this series was recently released and while it’s been decently well at the box office, it is also facing a great deal of competition due to the release of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer.

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise

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Tom Cruise’s Long-Time Collaboration with Paramount

Tom Cruise has been working with Paramount Pictures for decades now. From 1983’s The Firm to the long-running franchise Mission: Impossible, he has collaborated with Paramount in countless movies. He produced the Mission: Impossible series alongside the studios, which has grossed millions at the box office.

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible
Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible

In 2006, the company cut ties with Cruise and his production company Cruise/Wagner Productions stating that his “unacceptable” behavior had been adversely affecting the earning of the studios. They had begun working together since 1992, and Cruise undoubtedly earned the company billions of dollars, but apparently, that wasn’t enough. However, they collaborated again in 2011.

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Recently, there was an impasse between Tom Cruise and Paramount relating to the budget of the latest MI movie Dead Reckoning Part 1, as director McQuarrie and Cruise insisted upon having a submarine in the movie, but the studios didn’t want it. There was also a disagreement about the studios giving the movie “a 45-day theatrical release window” and then moving it to Paramount+ to increase the content on their streaming service.

Tom Cruise Was Paid the Most for Paramount’s The Firm

Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman in The Firm
Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman in The Firm

Released in 1993, the film The Firm was one of the most successful movies of the year as it grossed $270 million against a budget of $42 million. The movie had an ensemble cast that included Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Holly Hunter, Ed Harris, Hal Holbrook, Gary Busey, David Strathairn, and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Where Tom Cruise was paid $12 million, Superman star Gene Hackman was paid only $2 million.

A bizarre thing about this movie was despite the star-studded cast, the only person seen on its posters was Tom Cruise, which was very confusing because his co-star Gene Hackman had recently won an Oscar for his supporting role in Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven. But his name was nowhere to be found on the posters.

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The conflict between the contracts of Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman, both of which stated that the actor’s name should be above the title, caused this blunder. A spokesperson for Hackman said:

“This is a town of precedents and (Hackman is) so firmly established above the title, why should he be below the title? He came to the project late, after they started filming, and was offered the role after (Paramount) had constructed a marketing plan built around Tom. He had the choice of saying ‘no’ or working out some other billing situation.”

Paramount made the executive decision to prioritize Tom Cruise and not solely because he was being paid almost 6 times Gene Hackman’s payment. Hence, Hackman had his name completely removed from all promotional materials of The Firm.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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