Ever since Tom Cruise returned to A-list status with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the actor has been a bit of a hot commodity in Hollywood. Even prior to the events of last December, the actor was on board for a bunch of blockbuster properties including this weekend’s Rock of Ages. That film opened to dismal numbers and actually failed to break the $20 million mark in its first three days of release, but the seeing how the rock n’ roll musical was not for his core fans, no impact on the overall health of his career is expected.
That said, the attention now turns to what might be next for Cruise that could drive audiences back to theaters. Will he be returning to his low profile Knight and Day self with the occasional comedy cameo (Tropic Thunder,) or is the actor gearing up for a victory lap in his career that is unprecedented for someone his age? Perhaps the answer lies in the next three films on Cruise’s plate.
First up is a film called Jack Reacher based on a main character in Lee Child’s crime novels. In the feature, the actor will be tasked with playing a homicide investigator who is called in to solve a series of random sniper murders. This is not just any homicide investigator though as Reacher is a skilled fighter. The book was adapted for the big screen by Christopher McQuarrie who will also be directing. McQuarrie wrote Valkyrie as well which starred Tom Cruise as a Nazi rebel. Look for Jack Reacher to hit theaters on December 21.
Beyond that there is a certifiable hit or miss opportunity at a blockbuster via Joseph Kosinski’s sci-fi flick Oblivion. This is the same director who helmed and wrote Tron: Legacy, but adapting the film’s comic book source material was actually William Monahan who also drafted the screenplay for The Departed. Plot wise, Oblivion centers on Cruise’s character who is a veteran soldier sent to a distant planet to destroy what remains of an alien race. That one hits on April 26, 2013.
Another sci-fi feature with Tom Cruise in the works in All You Need to Kill from director Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Identity.) The film will have the actor reliving his last day over and over again very much in the vein of Groundhog’s Day, but the catch lies with the circumstances. Cruise is to play a soldier in the midst of an alien war.
That particular project was written by Dante Harper who also scripted the upcoming Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters film that stars Cruise’s Mission: Impossible co-star Jeremy Renner. There is no date on this one right now as things are in pre-production at the moment.
Going further than that gets a little bit sketchy as the projects mentioned have merely been announced. Those include Mission: Impossible 5, a Van Helsing reboot, and Top Gun 2. Only the new installment of Mission: Impossible seems like a definite, but Cruise is actually attached to Van Helsing at this point which is more than we can say about Top Gun 2. As for those three, Van Helsing is the only one with announced writers at this time as Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci who were brought on to finish All You Need to Kill will be concocting that franchise’s revival.