Tom Cruise to do Mission Impossible 4 for scale rates

News Simon Brew
10 Aug 2010 - 06:52

Mission Impossible 4 pushes forward, but Tom Cruise is taking a massive up-front pay cut to get it made, in the light of his apparently-waning star pulling power…

It's not been the best couple of years for Tom Cruise at the US box office, as his last couple of films, Valkyrie and Knight And Day, have both failed to crack the $100m mark in the States. In fact, Knight And Day is still languishing at $75m, an unthinkable figure once upon a time for a big budget Tom Cruise action movie.

To call the film a flop, however, would be wrong. As we noted in our piece last week, the star power of Tom Cruise is likely to turn the domestic disappointment of Knight And Day into a decent hit elsewhere in the world, and already, $127m has been brought in outside of the States, taking the film's gross above $200m.

We're still talking less than would have been expected for a Tom Cruise movie, but the man still has star pulling power.

But not, it appears, in the States. The last film of his to hit expectations in the US was War Of The Worlds back in 2005, and as such, there have been many stories surrounding Paramount Pictures' reported discomfort with Cruise as sole star of its upcoming Mission: Impossible 4. As such, it was already revealed earlier this year that Cruise would be getting a co-star in the next movie. And now it's also been suggested that his salary package is getting a big restructure in the light of Knight And Day's US performance.

The suggestion is that Paramount doesn't have the necessary confidence in Cruise headlining the film (in terms of his box office pulling power), and NYMag is now reporting that he'll be taking a scale salary for the film, with a big back-end once the movie hits profit.

The upshot of this is that he'll be taking the minimum pay allowed by the Screen Actors Guild up front for Mission: Impossible 4, and basically sharing the risk of the film.

As someone who's really enjoyed the Mission: Impossible movies - especially Brian De Palma's outstanding 1996 take on the material - I'm more than happy to see Cruise back as Ethan Hunt, and the idea of Brad Bird on board as director has long since piqued my interest.

Meanwhile, both Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg are set to return too, and this is good news.

For more on Mr Cruise's salary joys, head over to NYMag here...

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