Tom Cruise: Why Now Is the Perfect Time for a ‘Tropic Thunder’ Les Grossman Spinoff

Tom Cruise is officially returning to his Les Grossman role from Tropic Thunder. But, after 14 years since the original movie, why now? It’s actually the perfect time for Cruise to tackle a character like Les Grossman in the modern Hollywood landscape. It’s clear that the actor has a lot on the horizon following the biggest movie of his career with Top Gun: Maverick.

Tom Cruise played Les Grossman in 2008’s ‘Tropic Thunder’

'Tropic Thunder' actor Tom Cruise, who played Les Grossman. He's smiling, wearing aviator sunglasses, and a grey suit in front of the movie poster.
Tom Cruise | ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Cruise shocked the world with his performance as Les Grossman in Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder. The film follows a group of actors filming a big-budget action movie. They find themselves in a real-life war zone and must fight for their lives.

Cruise’s Les Grossman is the overarching antagonist of Tropic Thunder. The character is a vulgar studio executive producing the film that they’re making. Many audiences around the world didn’t even recognize the actor under the makeup and prosthetics. However, Cruise had audiences around the world laughing, especially during his spectacular dance sequence through the end credits.

Tom Cruise is making the right choice to tackle Les Grossman now

According to Deadline, Cruise is working with producer Christopher McQuarrie to set up a potential original franchise including Les Grossman. However, they reported that it’s unclear whether the project would revolve around the character or if he will simply star in a supporting role. However, it’s clear that Cruise wants to bring Les Grossman back for audiences.

Hollywood underwent a lot of changes over the past 14 years. The entertainment world is in the streaming age, where everything is going digital. Additionally, the Me Too movement empowered folks around the world to speak up regarding sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and rape culture. As a result, many powerful offenders were forced out into the light.

Cruise’s Les Grossman is a vulgar movie studio executive, after all. This type of archetype only entered the conversation more over the last several years, making this Tropic Thunder character incredibly relevant to the modern Hollywood discourse. However, it will need to tread lightly if the writers plan to tackle some of these more serious angles.

The actor is fresh off Top Gun: Maverick, which is his most successful film at the box office. Therefore, announcing another major project for Cruise as a character that tested well, such as Les Grossman, is a smart move. It keeps the actor’s high momentum and continues to maintain his place in mainstream conversations.

The actor is exciting his base with three new movies in development

Cruise as Les Grossman from Tropic Thunder is only one of three projects that Deadline reported. One is an “original song and dance-style musical” that will have the Top Gun: Maverick star in the lead. Additionally, they will work together on a new action thriller with franchise potential. However, there aren’t any details on that project as of yet.

Cruise is also working on an untitled film shot in space in collaboration with Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman. Deadline reported that they’ll supposedly be filming this movie in space along with NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The actor is also deep into production on Mission: Impossible 8, which is split into two parts. He will be returning as action hero Ethan Hunt in 2023 and 2024, respectively. There aren’t plot details to announce quite yet, but it’s sure to have plenty of the wild stuntwork that Cruise is known for.

How to get help: In the U.S., call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

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