Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie Plan Project With Tropic Thunder's Les Grossman

Less is more, but there will be more Les Grossman. After Tom Cruise and Top Gun: Maverick took off with $1.3 billion at the global box office, overtaking Titanic as Paramount's highest-grossing movie domestically, the studio is reportedly revisiting Cruise's standout Tropic Thunder characterCruise and filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie — the star actor and producer's frequent collaborator and director of Paramount's Mission: Impossible 7 and 8, titled Dead Reckoning Part One and Part Two — are setting up three new projects together, Deadline reports. According to the report, the pair are "fixated" on Cruise's Grossman, the short-tempered, profanity-spewing studio executive he portrayed in 2008's Tropic Thunder

Cruise and McQuarrie are developing three new projects, including an "original song and dance-style musical" crafted as a star vehicle for Cruise and an "original action film with franchise potential," according to Deadline. The duo also has plans for more Les Grossman, but the report notes it's unclear whether that means a Cruise-led Grossman movie or if the character might appear in either of those two projects.

"I did Les Grossman for the MTV Awards ... We'll have to see. That could be fun," Cruise recently told ComicBook's Chris Killian when asked which role he might want to reprise after returning as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the decades-later Top Gun sequel. "I really don't know, at this moment ... I gotta finish [the Mission: Impossible sequels], you know what I mean?" 

Cruise most recently revived the character during a 2019 appearance on Conan after premiering the Top Gun: Maverick trailer at San Diego Comic-Con. 

In 2010, Paramount and MTV Films announced Cruise would star in a Tropic Thunder spinoff focused on mega-producer Les Grossman after Cruise reprised the role for that year's MTV Movie Awards. Cruise was set to produce with his Tropic Thunder co-star Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld of Red Hour Films, but the spinoff never materialized. 

Paramount at the time issued a playful press release stating it "secured the life rights to Grossman," the hit-making producer who "mentored talents such as Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner" of Twilight fame. (Remember: this was 2010.) 

"Les Grossman's life story is an inspiring tale of the classic human struggle to achieve greatness against all odds," Stiller said in a statement announcing the Les Grossman movie. "He has assured me he plans to quote, 'F**king kill the sh*t out of this movie and make Citizen f**king Kane look like a piece of crap home movie by the time we are done.' I am honored to be working with him."  

The release included a statement from the fictional Grossman, who quoted Robert Downey Jr.'s character when asked about the script: "To quote my great friend Kirk Lazarus, 'I don't read the script, the script reads me.'"

Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) was announced as the writer, but in a 2012 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bacall was unsure whether the movie would move forward. 

"I felt really great about [the Les Grossman Movie] from the beginning because I loved the character," Bacall said of Cruise's belligerent movie producer. "Tom had an incredible idea on how to tell this story, and give it some real emotion and heart. And as soon as he hit on that idea, it was off to the races. But I feel really good about that project, and I hope that it will happen."

Along with multiple Mission: Impossible movies and the record-shattering Top Gun: Maverick, Cruise and McQuarrie collaborated on ValkyrieJack ReacherEdge of Tomorrow, and The Mummy, all starring Cruise. 

Paramount Pictures will open Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, starring and produced by Cruise and written and directed by McQuarrie, in theaters on July 14, 2023. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two is scheduled to be released on June 28, 2024.