Are we missing something here? Tom Cruise is supposed to be rehabilitating his career, right? We scoffed at a potential re-teaming with Ben Stiller for “The Hardy Men,” but that at least seemed like a commercial choice (though, for now, it seems to be on the backburner). We can’t really conjure up feelings for “Top Gun 2” because returning to one of his most popular roles might be a good idea right now. And a Les Grossman spinoff from “Tropic Thunder“? Considering the writing talent aboard, we’re open-minded.
But “Rock of Ages“? That shitty hair metal jukebox musical? You sure about this, Mr. Mapother?
Consider it a rumor for now, but an offer is out to Cruise to play a supporting role in their planned adaptation of the popular play, a loudmouth bartender who also doubles as narrator. No one was really fond of “Knight and Day,” but the picture grossed $253 million worldwide. You don’t move from that to a supporting role that most critics of the play have considered a ripoff of Barry, the loudmouth elitist of “High Fidelity.” Ten years ago, Cruise was in between “Mission: Impossible” hits and nominated for an Oscar for “Magnolia.” Now he’s reduced to playing a role ripping off Jack Black? (Or Seth Rogen, who was linked to the project earlier this year.)
“Rock of Ages,” for those unaware, is a musical stringing together terrible 80’s metal songs from the likes of Bon Jovi and Poison in service of a story you’ve heard a billion times before. See, an evil land developer wants to wipe out a club that remains the last bastion of headbanging hair metal. But our heroes won’t let him have the territory, despite the fact that he’s doing the world’s ears a huge public service. In the middle of this is a would-be singer falling in love while trying to chase her dreams, which appear to be covering Jefferson Starship and Journey.
And that dreamer, Potentially joining Cruise in the picture would be, wait for it, Taylor Swift. She is being linked to role of Sherrie Christian, a co-worker at the bar who moves from Kansas to Hollywood with dreams of making it big. It’s a part that seems Taylor made for the singer. Get it?! Okay, we’ll stop. But seriously, seems like a good part for the singer who is slowly making inroads into the movies, and has appeared on “CSI: Las Vegas” and in the ensemble comedy “Valentine’s Day.”
One name curiously absent from all reports is director Adam Shankman (“Hairspray“) who has long been attached to the film. No word yet if it’s just an oversight or if no one really cares who directs this thing.
Cruise is currently filming “Mission: Impossible IV: Not Mission: Impossible IV: Also Extra Colon” but his next role is undecided. The idea of Cruise revitalizing his image through song is an appealing one, which is why we wish someone would write him something engaging, or hell, even remake a classic second-tier musical that doesn’t require him to stretch his pipes too much. But honestly, Cruise or not Cruise, the idea of a big screen hair metal jukebox musical sounds like a personal hell we never want to visit.