There were plenty of reasons to love Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder when it came out in 2008 — for starters, it’s just really freaking funny — but one of the film’s most pleasant surprises was an inspired turn by Tom Cruise as hotheaded studio exec Les Grossman. The performance came at a time when Cruise’s popularity had dropped to an all-time low, thanks to his off-putting Scientology rants and his whackadoodle declarations of love for Katie Holmes. It’s no exaggeration to say Les Grossman helped to put Cruise back in the public’s good graces.

Not surprisingly, talk of a Les Grossman spinoff began swirling soon afterward. Actual progress on the film has been kinda slow, however, and it’s been a while since we’ve heard much about it. We still don’t know when cameras will roll or what the plot will be, but screenwriter Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) recently dropped a bit of info about what to expect from the film whenever it finally happens. Read his comments after the jump.

Bacall touched upon the Les Grossman film in an interview with Collider, explaining that Cruise’s crowded slate was the big holdup. “Paramount has the draft and I gather that they’re pretty happy with it,” he said. “I think Tom Cruise probably has a lot of stuff on his plate right now (laughs) and I think it’ll be a schedule thing more than anything.”

As for what that script’s actually about, Bacall offered some insight:

I wrote it for R because we had precedent with Tropic Thunder. It’s actually a pretty heartfelt story. I had a lot of meetings with Mr. Cruise and Mr. Stiller and it was crazy, it was a blast. I think we came up with some really fun stuff to give you an insight into who the guy is, so I’m hopeful that that’ll get up and running soon.

Les Grossman was pretty great as a supporting character in Tropic Thunder, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can retain his appeal as the center of his own feature. Bacall’s description of the script as “heartfelt” suggests we’ll get a glimpse of Les Grossman’s softer side, and if it’s half as funny as his asshole side, I’m eager to see it. We’ll get a better idea of what Bacall is capable of when his next films, Project X and 21 Jump Street, hit next month.

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