File this one under More Proof That Sumner Redstone Is Gaga: he now denies ever “firing” Tom Cruise and says he wants to be friends with the actor again. The comments were made when People magazine caught up with Redstone at Thursday’s Zodiac premiere in Hollywood. So now the 83-year-old Viacom chief is saying, “He’s a great, great actor – one of the best. He was a great friend. And I look forward to being his friend again.” (Not in this lifetime, Red.) Sumner even goes so far as to claim his previous comments about Cruise were misinterpreted. “I didn’t know anything was going to be so explosive,” he said. “What happened was, I just gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal. In the course of it, they asked me what was going on. I said, you know, he would no longer be in the lot. They treated that like I was firing him. I didn’t fire him! I had nothing to do with it. But they treated it explosively. And I didn’t like it.” Ay-yi-yi. That said, today The New York Times‘ Richard Siklos takes a very long, and very thorough, and very skeptical, look (at last, someone cynical about this deal besides me!) at Cruise’s Mission Improbable: that new United Artists arrangement which has Paula Wagner CEO of the re-started studio and Tom with no title and no salary from it. One thing that surprises me: no mention in the NYT that CAA will be programming UA.
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