Back to IndieWire

Speaking of Scientology

Speaking of Scientology

Xenu Cassidy and the Scientology Kid?

The scariest remake news EVER came care of Daily Express yesterday: Tom Cruise – with the alledged blessing of Paul Newman (how convenient he’s not around to confirm this) – will play Sundance opposite John Travolta’s Butch in a remake of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Cruise got the blessing of Paul Newman, who played Cassidy in the original opposite Robert Redford’s Sundance, just months before the film star succumbed to lung cancer last September, an associate revealed.

He intends to produce the remake through United Artists, the “golden era” studio he jointly owns after helping resurrect it as an MGM subsidiary in 2006.

Cruise, 46, wants to cast himself as Redford’s Sundance, a performance friends say ranks among his cinema favourites, while Travolta, 55, will follow in Newman’s footsteps as Cassidy. The iconic tale of two lovable Wild West bank robbers charmed a generation and garnered four Oscars.

According to a senior executive, Cruise is already interviewing screenwriters capable of recapturing the essence of the original, which took $103million (£70million) at the box office, an almost unheard-of figure 40 years ago.

“It has been a pet project of his that has been on the back-burner for years,” said the executive. “But now he’s ready to go, and will most likely happily eschew the enormous salary that he normally commands.”

Cruise has banked fees of $25million (£17million) for movies including Minority Report and The Last Samurai but trebled that figure for the last two films in his Mission: Impossible franchise. He earned in excess of $70million (£47million) for each in a deal that gave him a percentage of their enormous profits.

“Butch and Sundance is a labour of love for Tom,” said a source close to the star. “He was eight years old when he saw the original and it made an impression that has stayed with him all his life. He can’t wait to get to work.” Pulp Fiction and Saturday Night Fever star Travolta is also said to be keen to start shooting, despite still mourning his 16-year-old son Jett, who died in the Bahamas in January.

Destroying a classic film is commonplace in Hollywood, but doing so for the purposes of having some sort of religious-cult reunion… that’s a new one. Can we assume Katie Holmes will play Etta? Kirstie Alley as Agnes? Giovanni Ribisi as Percy Garris?

Xenu help us.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Uncategorized and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox