What a difference a hit movie will make. Several months ago, as audiences proved slow to warm up to the spectacular Edge of Tomorrow, some started to question the star power of perennial A-lister Tom Cruise. (Fools!) Then, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ripped a hole through the summer box office, reminding the industry that Cruise can be one of the most bankable assets in a studio’s arsenal, and now the actor has a plethora of projects on his radar.

Tom Cruise recently began filming on Jack Reacher 2 with Paramount and director Ed Zwick, who helmed The Last Samurai with Cruise in 2003. From there, Cruise was expected to transition into Mission: Impossible 6, but Variety now reports that Cruise and his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman are lining up Luna Park for the actor to squeeze in before he plays Ethan Hunt once again. The trade even reports that screenwriter Jason Fuchs – a hot name with credits that include Pan and the upcoming Wonder Woman movie – has been tapped to pen the most recent draft of Luna Park, with an eye toward getting it ready for a quick shoot.

Luna Park has been in rapid development recently. We first reported on it back in September, with Cruise and Liman circling it even back then. The plot sounds intriguing. Luna Park is expected to follow a group of what Variety refers to as “renegades” who embark on a mission to the moon to retrieve a valuable energy source. It sounds like it could have elements of a heist incorporated into an obvious sci-fi premise, so you begin to understand why Tom Cruise and Doug Liman would be on board.

The trouble with Tom Cruise and sci-fi, however, is that audiences can run hot and cold on the actor when he ventures into this genre (as he has so often as of late). Edge of Tomorrow had to scratch and claw its way to a respectable box office take. Cruise wasn’t quite so lucky with Oblivion, despite some decent reviews. He realizes that he does better in his franchises, which explains a second Jack Reacher and a sixth Mission: Impossible.

But, Cruise won’t stop experimenting, because that’s what Cruise does. He and Liman are in post-production on the drug-running crime thriller Mena, which we think will be in theaters in 2016 (or early 2017). And if he can disrupt his franchise streak by dropping Luna Park in between Jack Reacher 2 and Mission: Impossible 6, more power to him. We’ll continue to track the progress of Luna Park which sounds like it could be an enjoyable departure for Tom Cruise, as the story develops.         

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