The Tom Cruise Image Rehabilitation Tour rolls on today with a public pardon from Viacom kingpin Sumner Redstone, who followed his prodigal son's subdued Oprah stint with a reassurance that, you know, all that erratic-behavior outrage from a couple years back? Just kidding! And Mission: Impossible 4? It's "up to Brad Grey." Or, loosely translated, "Are we on number four? Already? Well, I'll be":
Despite the severed relationship, Cruise, 45, is in talks with Paramount to star in a fourth Mission: Impossible film. Viacom is Paramount's parent company.
"I consider Tom Cruise a great actor and a good friend," Redstone said. "And if Paramount decides — and they will make the decision — to move ahead with him, I will not object."
Redstone, who was seen dining with Cruise in Beverly Hills in March, was responding to a reporter's question after a speech at a conference in South Korea.
No word on whether or not Cruise and Paula Wagner's stalled United Artists tank might follow behind (especially as Dreamworks scouts new bungalows around town), but seeing as MGM still has a UA deal, M:I4 remains a separate matter. In any case, Redstone won't be leaving that one up to Grey, unless perhaps through some miracle of timing and imagination the principals develop M:I4 as a perfect midsummer companion to Valkyrie. Maybe the latter could be an origin story — Ethan Hunt descended from one-eyed Nazis? Don't think Redstone hasn't pitched it.