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Jack Black Loves Tom Cruise In Tropic Thunder. His Take On What The Top Gun Star Should Do Next (With Him Of Course)

It’s been 15 years since Tropic Thunder was released, and it remains a favorite for many comedy fans and ranks as one of the best movies of the 2000s. The irreverent 2008 flick satirizes the movie industry, making for a hilarious film for those with a dark sense of humor. The cast is one of the most well remembered aspects of Tropic Thunder, as it features comedic heavyweights like Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Danny McBride, as well as major dramatic actors playing against type, like Robert Downey Jr., Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise. Now, Black is reflecting on what made the silly premise work for so many and Cruise’s iconic performance that surprised a lot of people.
In Tropic Thunder, the Top Gun star plays Les Grossman, a caricature of a studio executive who is worried more about his film and the money it is costing him rather than the cast and crew that are in danger in the jungle. For the role, Cruise danced while wearing a bald cap, as well as big arm prosthetics that make him almost identifiable. He is absolutely hilarious, and some may not realize it was Cruise in the role until the credits start rolling. In a recent interview with Total Film, Black opened up about his experience making the film, as well as the stand out performance by Cruise, saying:
Tom Cruise was unrecognizable as Les Grossman. He was really channeling some angst, I think, about some studio executives that shall remain nameless. I just didn’t know he had that gear in him. I guess he had done some comedy but not like this, with such broad strokes. And not such a character that he totally disappeared into.
There was skepticism Cruise would be able to pull off that kind of a character before the Jerry Maguire actor starred in the comedy film. Before Tropic Thunder, Cruise had done mostly action films and dramatic work. He had already made three Mission: Impossible movies and was also nominated for Oscars for dramas like Magnolia and Born on the Fourth of July. This was completely out of Cruise’s comfort zone, but he totally nailed it and is one of the funniest parts of that movie. Many fans have hoped that the movie star would venture out into even more comedic work, including Black, who said:
It does make you wonder when he is going to bust out and do some more comedy. If he does, he should let me know. I’ll jump on board that choo-choo train.
I personally would love to see these two work together again. The two actors don’t really share any screen time Tropic Thunder, but I think their differences would make Black and Cruise a great comedic duo. I could totally see them both in a buddy action comedy movie like The Other Guys,or even a road trip movie like Due Date. Black’s enthusiasm for the prospect makes me want to see it happen, and makes me wonder why nobody thought to put these two together in the first place.
While Jack Black may be totally game for Tom Cruise’s long-awaited return to comedy, it may not happen anytime soon. Cruise has a number of upcoming films slated that won’t be requiring his comedic timing. Mission: Impossible 8 is almost finished, and set to release in 2025, and he’s also been attached to a SpaceX adventure film for many years. In addition, Emily Blunt has been pushing for an Edge of Tomorrow sequel for a while, so that may take priority. However, Cruise did just recently sign a deal with Warner Brothers to make more movies with the studio, so maybe Jack Black could convince the actor that one of them should be a comedy. Tropic Thunder 2, perhaps?
Fans will have to wait and see if this long-awaited reunion could ever happen on the big screen. In the meantime, you can see Tom Cruise and Jack Black in Tropic Thunder, which Paramount+ subscribers can stream now. Black also has the movie Borderlands coming out on 2024 movie release schedule, followed by Minecraft in 2025.

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