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    Cruise's Star Status in Flux

    Clearly, Tom Cruise is not the mega-star he was when MGM chairman and CEO Harry Sloan gave him and then-partner Paula Wagner a piece of United Artists. Now he has the flop Lions for Lambs behind him and Bryan Singer's tarnished Valkyrie looming ahead--the film that looks like more of an expensive ar...

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    Wagner Bolting UA; Valkyrie Will Open in December

    When Bryan Singer first approached United Artists with the idea of making Valkyrie, he wanted to do it for about $25 million. Then Tom Cruise got interested and the budget exploded. The same thing happened to Lions for Lambs -- to Cruise and Robert Redford, it seemed like a modest little movie; at $35 million plus marketing, it was still too expensive for what it was. The idea of UA being an indie was impossible with the players involved. Now Valkyrie, which several people I know have seen and liked, has bad buzz and will be judged as a costly star vehicle, which is quite different from a $25 million movie with no marquee star. Finally, MGM h...

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    Agent Predicts End of Hollywood

    Nancy Nigrosh, a long-time lit agent-turned-talent agent at Innovative Artists Agency, has sent me a disturbing essay that reflects more than a strike-related industry downturn:

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    Wanted Leads Off LAFF

    The LA Film Fest opened with the premiere Thursday night of Universal's Wanted, followed by a Westwood block party. Spirits were high, because the smart director's showcase played.

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    End of an Era: Shaye and Lynne Ankle New Line

    Well, we've been waiting for the details to emerge on New Line Cinema, and here they are: Warners is absorbing the studio, as a label, and company founder Bob Shaye, who can claim to be one of the longest surviving indie mavericks in Hollywood, and his co-chairman Michael Lynne, are gone. This was e...

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    TIFF: Flying into Toronto; Eastern Promises

    It's nuts to take a 7 AM flight; it means nobody gets any sleep. But I was not the only industryite flying Air Canada early Saturday morning.

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