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Tom Cruise 'A Star Is Born' + Julianne Moore Is Sarah Palin & Christopher Plummer 'Barrymore' Movie

Tom Cruise Rock of Ages Stacee JaxxTom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx, Rock of Ages

Tom Cruise as Beyoncé 'A Star in Born' Rocker?

Tom Cruise to play opposite Beyoncé Knowles in Clint Eastwood's remake of A Star Is Born? That's a possibility, according to Deadline.com, which says Eastwood is in talks with Cruise. Or vice-versa.

Cruise, who turns 50 next July 3 (Oliver Stone's movie was off by a day), plays a rock-and-roll star named Stacee Jaxx in Adam Shankman's Rock of Ages. Playing another rock-and-roller shouldn't be too much of a stretch. As per Deadline, the formerly pregnant Beyoncé is ready to shoot “as soon as June.”

Now, Rock of Ages opens next June 15, but Cruise – who had a major worldwide hit late last year with Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol – is already busy working elsewhere.

Last seen handing the Best Picture Oscar to The Artist's Thomas Langmann a couple of weeks ago, Cruise recently finished working on Christopher McQuarrie's One Shot (addendum: retitled Jack Reacher) and is currently starring in Joseph Kosinski's sci-fier Oblivion (based on Orvid Nelson's comic book, which sounds a lot like Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness). Cruise's next project is another sci-fier, Doug Liman's We Mortals Are – this one at Warner Bros., which happens to be the studio to distribute Eastwood's A Star Is Born when/if it gets made. (And Rock of Ages, too.)

Tom Cruise has been nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Actor for Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Cameron Crowe's Jerry Maguire, and Best Supporting Actor for Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (1999).

Previous possibilities for the possible Tom Cruise role in Eastwood's A Star Is Born were Will Smith, Christian Bale, Eminem, and Russell Crowe. Those who have played that role in the various versions and sub-versions of A Star Is Born are Kris Kristofferson (also as a rocker), Fredric March (as an actor), James Mason (also as an actor), Robert Redford (in Up Close and Personal, as a journalist), Max Beesley (in Glitter, as a DJ/music producer), and Lowell Sherman (in What Price Hollywood?, as a movie director).

Prior to Beyoncé, the born stars were Barbra Streisand (who won an Oscar for composing with Paul Williams the song “Evergreen”), Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Constance Bennett, Mariah Carey, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Tom Cruise / Rock of Ages photo: Warner Bros.

Julianne Moore Sarah Palin Game Change
Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, Game Change

Julianne Moore-Sarah Palin Movie 'Game Change': HBO Hit

Julianne Moore may not get an Oscar nomination early next year, but she seems to have an Emmy nod – probably the award itself – guaranteed thanks to her performance as U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in the HBO movie Game Change. As the v.p. selected to run alongside Republican presidential candidate John McCain, Palin was a source of outrage, disgust, mirth, horror, and/or worship, depending on one's point of view: far-right Christian or secular liberal, Tina Fey / Saturday Night Live fan or non-fan.

This year, Game Change not only earned Moore great reviews, but according to The Hollywood Reporter it has also become HBO's most successful movie – 2.1 million viewers – since Joseph Sargent's Something the Lord Made (2.6 million in May 2004).

That's quite a contrast from the Sarah Palin documentaries that, whether pro or con, bombed miserably at the North American box office last year. The pro-Palin The Undefeated, for instance, was only remembered during awards season by the Razzie Award voters: Palin herself is up for Worst Actress of the Year, alongside Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son's Martin Lawrence, I Don't Know How She Does It / New Year's Eve's Sarah Jessica Parker, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1's Kristen Stewart, and Jack and Jill's Adam Sandler.

It's unclear whether Palin is honored or embarrassed by her Razzie nomination, but the former v.p. hopeful has made a point of voicing her disapproval of the HBO movie, claiming that Game Change is “based on a false narrative.”

The “narrative” – false or not – Game Change is based on is Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's book. The HBO drama stars Ed Harris as McCain and Woody Harrelson as McCain's former campaign strategist Steve Schmidt, in addition to Peter MacNicol, Sarah Paulson, Jamey Sheridan, David Barry Gray, Larry Sullivan, and Ron Livingston.

Jay Roach, best known for his political TV movie Recount and – anachronistically – for the lowbrow comedies Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Meet the Parents, and Meet the Fockers, directed from a screenplay by Danny Strong.

Julianne Moore's 2012 big-screen releases, I should add, are Paul Weitz's Being Flynn, starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano; and possibly Craig Zisk's The English Teacher, with Lily Collins and Michael Angarano; and Scott McGehee and David Siegel's What Maisie Knew, with Alexander Skarsgård and Steve Coogan.

Christopher Plummer 'Barrymore' Movie: Oscar potential?

Christopher Plummer Barrymore John playThe play Barrymore, which in 1997 earned Christopher Plummer a Tony Award for his portrayal of legendary stage and screen star John Barrymore, will be shown at movie houses in Canada in May. Screenings in the United States and elsewhere will follow in October.

Could that possibly mean a third Oscar nomination for Plummer, this year's Best Supporting Actor winner for Mike Mills' Beginners? Unless Academy rules have changed in that regard – and Barrymore gets shown for a week in the Los Angeles area – that's certainly a possibility.

Filmed plays – Barrymore was filmed with multiple high-definition cameras last year – have earned Academy recognition in the past. For instance, a 1965 filmed version of Britain's National Theatre presentation of Othello earned acting nods for Laurence Olivier, Frank Finlay, Maggie Smith, and Joyce Redman. In 1975, James Whitmore was shortlisted in the Best Actor category for the Theatrovision production of his one-man show Give 'em Hell, Harry!.

Written by William Luce, Barrymore offers a portrayal of John Barrymore while rehearsing Richard III several months before his death. In addition to the actor known (back in his heyday) as The Great Profile, the play features only one more character, the stage manager, who communicates with the actor through a loudspeaker.

John Barrymore, among whose film credits are the first sound feature (no dialogue) Don Juan and the Best Picture Oscar winner Grand Hotel, died in 1942. Drew Barrymore is his granddaughter. Oscar winners Ethel Barrymore (None But the Lonely Heart) and Lionel Barrymore (A Free Soul) were his siblings. Dolores Costello (Drew Barrymore's grandmother) was one of his four wives and the mother of John Drew Barrymore and Diana Barrymore.

Barrymore has been played on screen before. Errol Flynn, for one, impersonated him in the 1958 film version of Diana Barrymore's autobiography Too Much, Too Soon. (Dorothy Malone played Diana.) And Jack Cassidy has a supporting role as Barrymore in W.C. Fields and Me, starring Rod Steiger as Fields.

Additionally, Fredric March received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his John Barrymore-ish Tony Cavendish in George Cukor and Cyril Gardner's 1930 comedy-drama The Royal Family of Broadway. Curiously, that's the year (1930-31 period) Lionel Barrymore won Best Actor for A Free Soul. Although Lionel is absent from The Royal Family, Ethel was represented by Ina Claire's Julie Cavendish.

And finally, regarding the 1965 nomination for the Othello crowd, the New York Times wrote the following:

The amazing thing is that the Academy has completely overlooked the fact that they are acting in a film which simply cannot be classified and analyzed as an achievement in genuine cinema. It is almost as though nominations for best acting were given to people in documentary films.

Bosley Crowther quote via Damien Bona and Mason Wiley's Inside Oscar.


         
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