Mission: Impossible 4 will star Tom: Cruise. New evidence suggests Howard Stern will not be on American Idol. Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks get picked up by Universal. Snowpocalypse 2010 got you down? The Trade Roundup has powerfully heated seats!
•Deadline reports tonight that Tom Cruise has signed on for Paramount's Mission Impossible 4. MI4 will be directed by J.J. Abrams, who directed MI3 and, most recently, Star Trek. Filming will start this summer and should be finished in time for a Memorial Day 2011 release. Remember that motorcycle fight scene from MI2?. That was AWESOME! [Deadline]
•Howard Stern and American Idol: Their tenuous relationship might be more tenuous than we first believed. Former Gawker scribe Richard Rushfield, writing in the Daily Beast, calls 'bull' on rumors that Stern could be the next Simon Cowell. "Two Idol insiders told The Daily Beast that no offer has been made to Stern... A source familiar with the search process says Stern was never even being considered." Even if Stern was a candidate, Deadline reports Ellen DeGeneres is not a fan. And rounding out your Idol news: The Wrap reports that Idol judge's blatantly placed huge plastic Coke cups have been replaced with Coke-owned Vitamin water. Ch-ch-ch-changes! [Daily Beast][The Wrap][Deadline]
•A couple of big-ticket acquisitions: Universal Pictures has scored domestic distribution rights to the Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts comedy Larry Crowne. Hanks directed the film, about "a man re-inventing his life. Broad, but promising! Roberts and Hanks co-starred in 2007's Charlie Wilson's War, which we seem to remember did pretty well. Meanwhile, Summit Entertainment has picked up North American rights to Mandate Pictures' untitled Seth Rogen/James McAvoy comedy. McAvoy will be a young guy who finds out he has cancer. Sounds like Funny People. [THR][THR]
•Earnings news! The Walt Disney Co. reported pretty flat earnings in Q3: $844 million in profits compared to $845 million a year ago. Revenue was up 1%, though. Lionsgate, on the other hand, boosted revenues by 15% in Q3. This was largely thanks to its booming TV operation—including Mad Men and Nurse Jackie Still, Lionsgate lost $66 million. [Variety][Variety]
•MTV has green-lit the next Jackass generation: Dudesons in America is about four crazy Fins who come to America and do stunts like "bullfighting on stilts and trying to build their own rocketship." MTV's Parkour Challenge is about that crazy jumpy stuff that Madonna made famous in her music video. Prediction: All these people will die violent deaths. [Variety]