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.

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What will Tom Cruise do next? He’s finishing the fourth Mission: Impossible film now, and will soon shoot a part in Rock of Ages, so it’ll soon be time to settle on another project. There was a good chance that he would have been in Guillermo del Toro’s film At the Mountains of Madness, but that one is now off the boards. There is word that he is interested in Joseph Kosinski’s film Oblivion that was recently cut loose by Disney and is looking for a new studio home, but that one has a few more steps to take before it can be a reality.

One possible film is the Les Grossman Tropic Thunder spin-off. That one now has a completed script, says comedian Bill Hader. Read More »

VOTD: The 100 Greatest Movie Insults

Pajiba has edited another wonderful montage of movie clips, this time compiling the 100 greatest movie insults of all time in under 10 minutes. Watch the video now embedded after the jump.
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Les Grossman

Last week, MTV released a new television promo for the upcoming 2010 Movie Awards featuring Tom Cruise not only reprising his role as Joel Goodsen from Risky Business, but also donning the fat suit to reprise his much talked about role as studio executive Les Grossman from Tropic Thunder. Now Grossman has returned for another couple television spots where he advises Twilight series stars Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Watch the videos now, embedded after the jump.

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Tom Cruise as Les Grossman
MTV has released a new television promo for the upcoming 2010 Movie Awards featuring Tom Cruise not only reprising his role as Joel Goodsen from Risky Business, but also donning the fat suit to reprise his much talked about role as studio executive Les Grossman from Tropic Thunder. It appears that Grossman was on the set of the 1983 film which launched Cruise’s career. Watch the video now, embedded after the jump.

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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans The Tooth Fairy, that offer proof. /Film’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a new trailer for a provocative indie, a mini review, or an interview. In this installment: the perverse and obscure ’60s thriller, Who Killed Teddy Bear?, being shown tonight at NYC’s Anthology Film Archives; the doc, Nick Nolte: No Exit, which finds good ol’ Nick candidly Q&Aing himself on topics ranging from god to drugs. For a special Weekend Weirdness posted yesterday about the imaginative skateboarder fantasy Machotaildrop, click here.

Photographed above is a real deal, shrink-wrapped, limited-edition VHS for The House of the Devil, promoting its release on DVD/Blu-Ray early next month. It’s one of the coolest pieces of swag I’ve received for this column thus far; to my knowledge only a few peeps were sent one, including Devil-supporter Drew McWeeny at HitFix. And even fewer peers have watched the tape. Some are scared, others are sans VCR. I’ve seen last year’s best horror flick at least thirteen times now, so I’d rather keep it sealed. Similar to the wizard-bong approved THotD poster design by Kellerhouse last year, the VHS packaging has faux rental scruffs, in addition to a retro “new release” starburst. A disclaimer on the back reads, “Caution: This film contains Satanic references and graphic violence.” Haters would add: “…and so much pointless walking.”

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Will Tom Cruise Return as Les Grossman?

One of my favorite parts of Tropic Thunder was Tom Cruise as Hollywood Mogul Les Grossman. Cruise even earned a Golden Globe nomination for his comedic performance – who woulda thought? I would love to see a Tropic Thunder spin-off that takes place in the Hollywood world which would bring us more of Grossman’s antics. Cruise doesn’t say never, telling E! that “there could be more to do with that guy” before revealing that he has started to develop some short films starring the character with Thunder director/star Ben Stiller.

“I’ve talked about doing different videos with the character,” Cruise said. “I’ve started working with Ben [Stiller] on it, and we’ve kind of talked about different things to do. We were gonna do some in our free time, but we haven’t found the free time…yet.”

I don’t know about you, but I would love to see more than just a series of online viral music videos.

Dreamworks has launched their Best Supporting Actor campaign for Kirk Lazarus, the character that Robert Downey Jr plays in Tropic Thunder. Dreamworks is also pushing Downey Jr. for the same award in real life. I wonder if viral web marketing like this will confuse Academy members or if its a genius idea to get free “For Your Consideration” advertising from movie and fansites (hey, we fell for the bait!). Either way, you gotta love the script “Choose the Dude, playing a Dude, Disguised as Another Dude.” Dreamworks also edited together two “television advertisements”, which you can watch after the jump.

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