It looks like Tom Cruise is just about ready to head back to work – and when he does, he’ll have his choice of projects lined up.
Tom is currently considering three films for his big-screen return, reports Variety.
Two of the films are from major studios (Warner Bros. and Fox) and one is an independent feature, which appears to be the most likely choice, according to Variety.
The indie film, “Lions for Lambs,” is a political drama that follows a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Cruise would play a congressman alongside Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. Redford would also likely direct.
Another project reportedly on Tom’s radar is “The Ha-Ha” from Warner Bros. In the film (an adaptation of a Dave King novel), Cruise would play a Gulf War vet who’s been rendered mute by his injuries and is now charged with taking care of a 9-year-old girl after her mother goes AWOL.
Cruise has also been in talks with Spike Lee about Lee’s latest film “Selling Time,” about a man who sells back parts of his life for a chance to relive and change the worst day of his life.
Cruise and Lee have reportedly met several times to discuss the project.
If Cruise signs on for any of these projects, it will mark his first film since he left Paramount in August in a highly publicized separation.
And as far as Access Hollywood movie guru Scott Mantz is concerned, Cruise should weigh his options carefully.
“Tom Cruise is at a crossroads. After everything that’s happened in the last year, this next movie is the most important movie of his career,” Mantz said. “He needs to bounce back big, because his antics and beliefs and criticism of Brooke Shields have turned off a large part of his fan base – most of whom are women.”
But does one film make more sense than the others for his triumphant return?
“He needs to remind people how good of an actor he is and the best way to do that is to avoid movies like ‘Mission: Impossible 4.’ Because of that, all three of these projects are good choices to choose from,” Mantz added. “Of the three, ‘Lions for Lambs’ sounds like the best choice. It sounds like a political drama along the lines of ‘A Few Good Men’ and if Redford directs and Streep is a co-star, that can only be good for Tom.”
However, Mantz does have one problem with the movie.
“They should change the title,” he joked.
Tom may want to steer clear of “The Ha-Ha” – another movie title that needs work according to Mantz.
“This role sounds like too much of a manipulative bid, ” Mantz suggested. “Anytime an actor plays someone with a disability, it’s like they’re trying too hard to please the Academy before a single frame has even been shot.”
And while Spike Lee has been on a venerable roll lately, coming off the success of “Inside Man” and his critically acclaimed Katrina documentary “When The Levees Broke,” Mantz said “Selling Time” might be too complex of a movie to win back a broad fan base all at once.
“He needs to remind the most people in one fell swoop why he’s still relevant in Hollywood and not the joke a lot of people see him as right now,” Mantz concluded.
Of course, there is no guarantee Cruise will pick any of these films.
Back in February, he looked at another trio of films, all of which he passed on.
Among those films were “3:10 To Yuma,” which now stars Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, and “Fool’s Gold,” which now stars Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson.
And if he does sign on for a new project, production likely wouldn’t begin until at least December. Cruise has announced he and Katie Holmes will tie the knot on November 18 in Italy. (Source: Access Hollywood)