Tom Cruise Warner Bros. Partnership ‘Off and Running,’ David Zaslav Says

“We look forward to a long future together,” the Warner Bros. Discovery CEO added

Tom Cruise (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Tom Cruise (Photo credit: Getty Images)

During Friday’s fourth quarter earnings call, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO and president David Zaslav touted the film studio’s new relationship with star and producer Tom Cruise.

“A partnership with Tom is up and running. [Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group co-chairpersons] Mike [De Luca] and Pam [Abdy] spent a couple of days hard at work with Tom in London earlier this month,” Zaslav said. “As you saw yesterday, we are in negotiations for a new film by Academy Award winner Alejandro González Iñárritu starring Tom this will be the first of many films with us and Tom and we look forward to a long future together.”

Zaslav was referring to news that Cruise is in talks to star in Iñárritu’s new film, to be co-produced with Legendary. That studio has been instrumental on a number of Warner Bros. projects, including the upcoming “Dune: Part Two” and “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.”

Cruise is currently in production on the eighth “Mission: Impossible” film for Paramount with writer-director Christopher McQuarrie.

When Cruise’s non-exclusive deal with Warner Bros. was announced, it was said that the star and producer would work on both original projects as well as pre-existing properties, leading to speculation that a long-talked-about sequel to Cruise’s Warner Bros. sci-fi favorite “Edge of Tomorrow” would finally be getting off the ground. As of now, the Iñárritu project is the first Warner Bros./Cruise production in this new joint venture.

Zaslav also mentioned several other exciting projects in the studio’s pipeline.

“Paul Thomas Anderson is also hard at work on his new film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Sean Penn and Regina Hall,” Zaslav said, referring to Anderson’s still-untitled follow-up to “Licorice Pizza,” which earned Anderson a Best Director Oscar nomination (with the movie receiving a Best Picture nomination too).

“Maggie Gyllenhaal is new movie is set to begin shooting soon starring Christian Bale, Jessie Buckley, Penelope Cruz and Annette Bening,” Zaslav also said, referring to her “Frankenstein”-adjacent project which recently moved from Netflix to Warner Bros. This will serve as Gyllenhaal’s second directorial feature after 2021’s “The Lost Daughter,” which secured three Oscar nominations including Best Adapted Screenplay for Gyllenhaal.

Zaslav also said, “’Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler and star Michael B. Jordan are coming together for a new original genre film that will go in front of cameras later this spring.” This is a rumored vampire movie, which Coogler will retain the rights to after 25 years.

Also, Zaslav noted, “George Clooney is back with Warner Bros. and working on a number of exciting projects.” Previously Clooney had a deal with Warner Bros. but has recently made movies for Amazon (“The Boys in the Boat” and “The Tender Bar”), Netflix (“The Midnight Sky”) and starred in movies for Universal (“Ticket to Paradise”) and Sony (“Money Monster”). Last year, he did provide a cameo for Warner Bros.’ “The Flash.”

The WBD CEO noted that all of this is part of his vision to bring talent “back” to Warner Bros.

“When we launched this company almost two years ago, we made it clear we believe in this business,” he said. “We’re a pure storytelling company, and we’re going to bring the best people in front of and behind the camera back to Warner Bros. And we have been laser-focused on doing just that.”


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