Cruise "Mission" return not impossible: Redstone
SEOUL (Reuters) - Sumner Redstone, the executive chairman of cable network and movie studio owner Viacom Inc, will not oppose the casting of Tom Cruise in the next installment of the "Mission: Impossible" movie franchise.
"That's really up to Brad Grey, who runs Paramount, he will make the decision," Redstone said on the sidelines of Seoul Digital Forum on Tuesday.
"What I can say is, I consider Tom Cruise a great actor and a good friend, and if Paramount decides to go ahead with him, I will not object."
Viacom is Paramount's parent company.
Redstone in 2006 told the Wall Street Journal that the studio was not renewing a 14-year relationship with Cruise's production company, saying "his recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount."
The separation came in the wake of widely reported public relations setbacks that the star suffered at the time. His publicity faux pas ranged from his manic, couch-hopping profession of love for actress Katie Holmes on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to his strident denunciations of psychiatry.
Redstone's words at the time signaled the end of one of the most lucrative production deals commanded by an A-list Hollywood star and followed other signs that Cruise's stature had been damaged by his conduct during that year.
But recent media reports have speculated that Cruise would be back starring as agent Ethan Hunt for another "Mission: Impossible" movie.
Redstone sounded upbeat on the future of both Viacom and CBS Corp, which he controls through his privately held National Amusements Inc. Continued...