Can anybody explain to me how Paramount Pictures can dump an unlimited amount of money at Michael Bay’s feet, just for him to direct another Transformers film? Yet play hard ball with Tom Cruise regarding his pay for starring and producing another Mission: Impossible?
Rhetorical questions, I get it (sort-of). Transformers grosses over one billion dollars per franchise installment, but is that really because of the name Michael Bay? I mean anyone can direct these type of films, and still produce the same quality (if not better) than what Bay has given us. However, the same cannot be said about Tom Cruise and what he does for the Mission Impossible franchise.
If you haven’t heard by now, Paramount Pictures has halted production on the sixth Mission: Impossible. Reports indicate that Paramount is waiting for Cruise to lower his salary, and for his producers, Bad Robot and Skydance, to lower their rates. Meanwhile, Cruise wants to be paid around the same (undisclosed) amount he got from Universal for starring in their upcoming Mummy reboot. See what happens when another studio appreciates his services by paying him better? Its starting to sound like Paramount is taking him for granted, which if so, would be a very typical thing for a major studio to do.
At 54 years old, the veteran action star is doing stunts that no up-and-coming action star would dare commit. His experience and commitment to collaborate with the best writers (Christopher McQuarrie) and directors (JJ Abrams) towards delivering high quality blockbusters has gradually made each Mission: Impossible film (since the third installment) better than the previous. It would be a different story if Cruise’s films were declining both critically and at the box office, but its not. Therefore, the fact that Paramount is resisting is unbelievable!
Hopefully this stall in production for M:i6 is something minor, because Cruise doesn’t deserve this. In an industry where Robert Downey Jr. is getting paid $50-$75 million per Marvel flick (rightfully so). Where Bay continues to get millions for directing a Transformers film (wrongfully so). Cruise has continued to play nice for a long time, and has earned the right to ask for more. Could it be a ridiculous amount that would make any major studio pause? Maybe, but clearly not for Universal. The bottom line is that Cruise is an action star that is proven, committed, and still kicking ass. Pay the man, and let him do his thing while we still have him.
sources: IGN, The Hollywood Reporter