Venerable megastar Tom Cruise has mostly franchise sequels on his docket, like Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, along with potential follow-ups to Top Gun and Jack Reacher. Another intriguing project, called Mena, is set for some time further down the line and could have Cruise playing an overweight drug-smuggler-turned-CIA-asset. It is now being reported that the bizarre biographical drama has cast blonde beauty Sarah Wright Olsen.
According to Deadline, Sarah Wright Olsen, of the TV series Marry Me, and who recently appeared in the Elizabeth Banks comedy, Walk of Shame, has been cast in Mena in a role opposite Cruise. While the 31-year-old actress being cast alongside the 54-year-old is probably an age disparity that could be overlooked for a cinematic romantic situation, the nature of Cruise’s character suggests a different relationship between the characters.
Mena will have the prolific action star portray a real life former military pilot named Barry Seal. When his post-military career as a commercial pilot for TWA didn’t exactly pan out, Seal began a risky, illicit, clandestine career as a drug smuggler during the height of the 1980s cocaine craze. The real Seal was a heavyset man who reportedly weighed as much as 300 pounds. While it is entirely possible that Sarah Wright Olsen could be a love interest of some type, she may be a bit out of the league of the character Cruise is set to play. Yet, in the world of movies, anything is possible.
It is worth noting that the enchanting ingénue's acting resume is mostly full of comedic TV shows and films. Perhaps, the idea of the potential paring itself will manifest as a comedic aspect of the film. While it probably should be expected that Seal’s story will be put through a lens that’s more aesthetically acceptable to Hollywood, there is a distinct possibility that Cruise could appear on screen in a comically overweight manner, similar to his hilariously head-turning role in 2008’s Tropic Thunder as the sleazy studio executive Les Grossman. In fact, despite the seriousness of the true story, Mena does seem to come across as a picaresque project protruding with humor. (Although maybe not quite Les Grossman type humor.)
The story focuses on Seal’s acquisition of his ill-gotten monetary gains, which allowed him to upgrade his business infrastructure with some of the best equipment money could buy. However, that all quickly disappeared when the DEA got ahold of him. Yet Seal had established himself as one of the best smugglers in the world and knew the ins and outs of several drug operations. This fact allowed him to avoid jail time by becoming a CIA asset. Thus, Seal found himself a target of both subversive Government agents and an infamously brutal Columbian drug cartel. It’s a complex web of events that ultimately connects to a potential political angle related to the infamous Iran Contra Affair.
Mena is still in the early stages with no production or release dates set.