Tom Cruise will be bringing his special brand of crazy to United Artists, parent company MGM announced Thursday. Cruise and his longtime producing partner, Paula Wagner, have taken a “substantial minority stake” in the company, where Wagner will serve as CEO and Cruise will have the authority to greenlight and star in the big-screen adaptations of every L. Ron Hubbard novel John Travolta missed.
“You’ve got the studios accusing talent of driving up the cost of doing business and the talent accusing the studios of being political bureaucracies,” says MGM chairman and CEO Harry Sloan. “We think if we can create a talent-friendly studio, owned by artists, then we can come up with a new financial model.”
Cruise was booted in August from his former home at Paramount, after Viacom crypt-keeper Sumner Redstone insisted Cruise’s off-screen antics were hurting the bottom line on his movies. His arrival at UA marks a return to the artist-run business model on which the studio was originally founded.