the industry

Tom Cruise Is Back, Baby!

Ellen, please.

Cruise Is In Control: Apparently, Tom Cruise is a superstar again. According to Variety, post-Valkryie Cruise is a very hot commodity, with seven films trying to lock him down: the previously announced Matarese Circle; the previously announced Hardy Men; The Tourist, co-starring Charlize Theron; Motorcade, basically Air Force One set in cars; Lost For Words, in which Cruise falls into a love triangle with a beautiful Chinese filmmaker (Ziyi Zhang) and her jealous translator; Wichita, a secret-agent comedy co-starring Cameron Diaz; and The Champions, about a team of government agents that is rescued from a plane wreck in the Himalayas by an advanced civilization and is given superhuman powers. Hey, only about half of those sound terrible! [Variety]

A Pinch of Schreiber: Liev Schreiber is in talks to join Columbia Pictures’ Salt, the thriller starring Angelina Jolie as CIA agent Evelyn Salt, outed as a Russian spy and on the run to prove her innocence. Schreiber will play Jolie’s friendly boss. As you may recall, a certain Tom Cruise was originally attached for Jolie’s role. To which we say — it’s not too late to get him back into this movie too, Columbia. [Variety]

Bullock Checks Her Blind Spot: Sandra Bullock will star in The Blindside, a football movie to be directed by John Lee Hancock, who also adapted the screenplay from Michael Lewis’s book. The story follows top NFL prospect Michael Oher, who grew up homeless before being taken in by a wealthy family; Bullock will play the mother. Too bad — we were hoping Bullock would finally flash that range and play Oher. [Variety]

Michael and Michael Have a TV Show: Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black have landed a new program on Comedy Central, Michael and Michael Have Issues, which will be a sketch show-within-a-show interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage. Seven episodes of the show have been green-lit. For those keeping count at home, after The State and Stella this will be Showalter and Black’s third prematurely canceled, posthumously revered comedy show. [HR]

One of Amerikaz Most Wanted: A potential Tupac Shakur biopic is stuck in a legal battle: Production house Morgan Creek is suing Amaru Entertainment, run by Tupac’s mother, Afenu Shakur, for backing out of an agreement to sell the rapper’s life story. Amaru Entertainment is claiming the deal was never finalized. Apparently issues between the parties began after Notorious fared poorly at the box office in January. Whatever, we’re just glad there’s actually a Tupac biopic in the works. Also, there’s gotta be enough footage in the vaults for Tupac to play himself, right? [HR]

Label Folds: Chicago indie Touch & Go will effectively cease operations, going forward only as a catalog label. All albums slated through the spring will be released, but that’s about it, and twenty staff members will be cut in the next six weeks. The label has put out releases by Don Caballero, Calexico, Blonde Redhead, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, and Shellac, to name a few. Pour one out for Touch & Go. [Billboard]

Tom Cruise Is Back, Baby!