On Thursday, several operatives alerted us to Tom Cruise's presence at Yahoo's Santa Monica headquarters, where it was thought that the suddenly homeless actor/producer was looking to see if chairman Terry Semel was interested in getting into the Fading Megastar Deemed Too Expensive And Crazy To Work With Paramount business. Today, the LAT is reporting that Cruise has found someone—a very unexpected, sports-team-owning someone—willing to toss some loose change his way to help the down-on-his-luck star get back on his feet:
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who recently wrested control of Six Flags Inc., is said to be a leading investor in an agreement that would give Cruise less than $3 million to finance staff and office expenses. In exchange, Snyder and the others will have the ability to finance movies developed by Cruise and his producing partner, Paula Wagner.
The deal gives Cruise less than the $3 million that he reportedly turned down from Paramount Pictures to renew his longtime deal with the studio that expires Thursday.
Cruise and Wagner had been receiving an estimated $10 million from Paramount to cover their overhead under the soon to be expired deal.
We have to admit that we have no idea what Cruise is up to, but we expect that when his impossibly complicated master plan to yoke together the financial power of NFL franchises, theme parks, and shadowy, still-unnamed hedge funds into an extrastudio moviemaking juggernaut is finally revealed, Sumner Redstone will be reduced to a harmless pile of dust from the shock.