The juiciest quote about Tom (which I must have missed in the original Wall Street Journal article that broke this story):
Â . . . Viacom Inc. chairman Sumner Redstone stunned Hollywood with his comment to the Wall Street Journal that he did not think "someone who effectuates creative suicide and costs the company revenue should be on the lot."
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I like that line "effectuates creative suicide."Â
This whole story interests me for a number of reasons.Â First of all, I don't think it had much to do withÂ Viacom and/or Sumner Redstone giving a damn one way or the otherÂ how many couchesÂ Tom Cruise jumps on, how many imaginary babies he has or how frequently he displays his creepy cult-induced psychobabble.
I think it had only to do with money, and to the extent that Tom's increasingly odd behavior affected the bottom line I guess it was somewhat related -- but mostly just about money.
Paramount tried to get concessions out of Cruise/Wagner Productions, which reportedly has one of the richest (THE richest?) deals around.Â Basically, according to the article, Cruise was making more money than Paramount and Paramount wasn't too psyched about that.
Reading between the lines, Paramount asked for concessions, Cruise said no and there you have it.
So . . . that's kind of interesting in it's own right but what I really found interesting is how quickly people jump on the story with glee over a major Hollywood superstar getting a little bit of a bitch slap.
I personally think Tom has totally lost it and that the Scientology thing is just downright scary.Â I don't claim to be an expert on Scientology but what I do know about it indicates to me that it is a completely nutty "religion" based on a science fiction book and that it bilks "converts" out of tons of cash in order to teach them the ways of Scientology and take them to the highest levels (in short, a cult).
Still, it's the reaction to the Paramount firing, not the firing itself, that I find most interesting.
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Also interesting to me is a look at the underlying economics of these types of production deals and how economic forces are changing the way studios look at these deals.
If you're interested in that kind of stuff, the article has some interesting tidbits aboutÂ the effect of Â DVD sales and how private investors are now interested in directly financing these celebrity driven production companies.