Tom Cruise Still Desperately Wants to Make a Les Grossman Movie — Did No One Tell Him About Harvey Weinstein?

Tom Cruise Still Desperately Wants to Make a Les Grossman Movie — Did No One Tell Him About Harvey Weinstein?

The 2008 action-comedy classic Tropic Thunder is a perfect time capsule of a moment in comedy history when jokes about TiVo were still relevant, Robert Downey Jr. could do blackface so well he’d get nominated for an Oscar and an impression of an irate Harvey Weinstein was considered comical instead of traumatizing. 

Much like Kevin Garnett, Tom Cruise is still stuck in 2008. His performance as Les Grossman, the profane, hot-headed studio executive pulling the strings behind the scenes of Tropic Thunder’s movie-within-a-movie, was heralded as one of the best comedic performances ever delivered by a dramatic actor of Cruise’s (metaphorically) massive stature. Reportedly inspired by real-life movie executives, such as the belligerent Scott Rudin, the late Ben Stiller-collaborator Stuart Cornfeld and the aforementioned monster Weinstein, Cruise’s dastardly, dancing Grossman is among the most memorable characters of the superstar’s career. So much so that even today, Cruise can’t get Grossman out of his head.

Back in August 2022, Deadline revealed that Cruise and Top Gun: Maverick screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie were “fixated” on the Grossman character, and, a decade and a half after the fact, are gunning for a Grossman spin-off film — or at the very least, another dance number in someone else’s movie.

Interest in the resurrection of Cruise’s Grossman periodically pokes its head out when rumors of the character’s return are stoked either by Cruise or by the original film’s fans. The Deadline article returned to virality earlier today as Tropic Thunder truthers once again voiced their hopes for a spin-off or sequel on social media. Cruise himself has brought up the Grossman character in various public appearances since the film’s premiere, including a 2019 Conan interview where he dusted off the dance moves from the movie’s credits.

With Cruise’s continued success and his “fixation” on a possible Grossman vehicle, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the spin-off gets greenlit. However, it’s unclear how Cruise and McQuarrie intend to separate Grossman from the baggage brought by the character’s influences — in addition to Weinstein’s well-documented history of horrific sex crimes, Rudin has been repeatedly accused of abusive behavior by former employees. The public perception of asshole studio executives in general has moved from “comically caustic” to “disturbingly dangerous” in the decade-and-a-half since Tropic Thunder came out, so it would seem like a tall order for the duo to ground the character in that same over-the-top aggressiveness that made it work in the first place.

If Cruise is going to figure out how to make the character work in 2023, he’s going to need time, money and a Diet Coke right fucking now.

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