Tom Cruise’is trying to make a comeback. Will he succeed? There are various reports today that he’s signing on to film “Wichita,” an action comedy, co-starring’Cameron Diaz. Not surprisingly, the deal is at 20th Century Fox, the studio that had foreign rights to “Valkyrie.” As it turned out, the loathsome Nazi film did better internationally than it did domestically with United Artists.

You remember United Artists? That was the studio Tom and’Paula Wagner’were going to revive a couple of years ago. Now the once great UA — sullied during this debacle — is adrift. They’re advertising DVDs of their eight Best Picture winners from their glory days — like “Annie Hall,” “Rocky,” and “Rain Man” — on their website. “Valkyrie” is not one of them.

Can Cruise have a comeback? If “Wichita” is made, it won’t be released until summer 2010 at the earliest. Another if: If Cruise can keep his strangeness to himself, a comeback is possible. The public has a short memory. But right now, a new younger generation doesn’t relate to him. If he needs proof of how that works, just ask Julia Roberts.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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