Cruise not of Paramount importance

Cruise not of Paramount importance 1Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures are parting ways, and the split, announced Tuesday, has turned unusually bitter.

Telephones at the major studios were ringing off the hook Tuesday after Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone told The Wall Street Journal that his company’s Paramount Pictures unit is ending its 14-year relationship with Cruise’s film production company, Cruise/Wagner Productions.

Redstone cited the actor’s offscreen behavior, which has included the Scientologist’s public criticism of antidepressants and his very public courtship of star Katie Holmes, with whom he has an infant daughter.

“As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal,” Redstone told the Journal. “His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount.” Redstone could not be reached for comment, although a Viacom spokesman confirms the story and says that Cruise/Wagner’s deal with Paramount will not be renewed.

Splits between a studio and star are nothing new, but the tone of the separation stunned many in Hollywood, including Cruise’s producing partner, Paula Wagner.