Just weeks after his abrupt dismissal from Paramount Pictures, Tom Cruise re-emerged yesterday with what looked like a new and sweeter arrangement: an ownership stake in a historic film label that will be run by his longtime producing partner. But whether Mr. Cruise and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.’s United Artists can return to past glories depends on how devoted Mr. Cruise will be to the new setup.
MGM, the closely held studio that owns the United Artists label, announced that Mr. Cruise and producing partner Paula Wagner have been given a substantial minority interest in UA that people familiar with the matter put at 30% or more. The deal is an effort to resurrect United Artists, which in recent years has existed mainly as a venerable label with little staff. Ms. Wagner will oversee the business as UA’s chief executive officer, giving her authority over an annual slate of four or more movies at an average budget of $50 million or so.