Tom Cruise to split with business partner Paula Wagner

August 15th, 2008 - 10:12 am ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, Aug 15 (DPA) Tom Cruise is splitting from his long-time business and production partner Paula Wagner, who is resigning as chief executive of United Artists, the legendary studio that the pair was trying to revive, the Hollywood Reporter said Thursday. The report said the development marks the end of the Cruise/Wagner partnership, which has been one of the tightest in Hollywood since 1993. But publicly both sides are insisting they will continue to work on projects together.

A joint MGM-UA statement late Wednesday said Wagner will continue to be a part owner of UA and hold a significant stake in the company’s future success.

“Nothing will change in regard to Cruise’s involvement with UA, and he continues to have a substantial ownership interest in the company. Furthermore, Cruise and Wagner will continue to work on film projects together,” the statement said.

Wagner and Cruise took over United Artists in 2006 as the controversial star and Scientology advocate looked to reverse a string of box office disappointments.

However their first two projects at the legendary studio founded in 1919 by Charlie Chaplin have been dogged with problems. The Iraq War polemic “Lions for Lambs” earned just $15 million at the box office, while Cruise’s current project the Hitler assassination drama “Valkyrie” has been repeatedly postponed and is now scheduled for release this December in the US.

The split of Cruise and Wagner came just two weeks after Wagner’s husband Rick Nicita, also split with the star, with many in Hollywood seeing the development as a reflection of Cruise’s unhappiness with the downward spiral his career seems to be taking.

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