Tom Cruise is in the pr fight of his life.
To try and ensure that “Knight and Day,” his $100 million movie with Cameron Diaz, gets a decent launch, Fox is not having a US premiere. That’s right–no big gala in New York or Los Angeles. And aside from long-lead magazine screenings, critics may have to see the film at sneak showings this weekend.
Instead, the “Knight and Day” premiere takes place today in…Seville, Spain. Hello? Seville is not exactly either Madrid or Barcelona. Or even London. But the idea is to keep Cruise away from the American press long enough to give “Knight and Day” a successful send off in Europe. That’s because Cruise’s nutty behavior, the Scientology stuff, Oprah couch jumping, and glassy eyed Katie Holmes are not an issue in places where people don’t speak English.
“Knight and Day” has its all media screenings tomorrow night, with journalists instructed to hold off on reviews until next week when the film opens. (We’ll see how well that works.) In the meantime, those who’ve seen it have told me it’s enjoyable but not substantial. It’s basically a travelogue for two smiling Hollywood stars. (We’ll see how well that works, too.)
The Cruise machine has already revved up by using the Les Grossman character from “Tropic Thunder,” perhaps overdoing it. No one in their right mind expects there to be a feature movie about that obnoxious and off putting character. Perhaps the best Cruise got out of it was on the MTV Video Awards, dancing with Jennifer Lopez. Hopefully, someone will explain to him that more is more, and leave it at that.
As for the no-US premiere thing,a Fox source says it’s because the movie hopscotches around Europe. Fox has spent millions this week importing junket press and buy-offs like “Entertainment Tonight” to Europe to shill for them. (For the right money, “ET” and “The Insider” will do a stand up from Hell.)
And still, “Knight and Day” may do well enough. Director James Mangold is terrific; it’s unlikely he’s made a terrible movie. But just how much the public has been affected by Cruise’s antics will be reflected here to a great degree.
By the way, though they’re billed and advertised, I am told that highly talented actors Peter Sarsgaard and Viola Davis have very little to do in the film. What a shame.