And of course this is hitting his box office. Ticket sales for the War of the Worlds were fairly woeful for such a big-budget classic story, and for a man used to being a Hollywood player this is dangerous territory. If his next film fails to be a big hit, he'll start to be yesterday's hero for the studios casting the blockbusters, and he's simply not a good enough actor to carve out a continuing career as a character actor. He'll be in Dolph Lundgren psycho-villain typecasting territory within a year if he doesn't turn it all around soon. And it appears he's starting to be concerned that doting dad pics of him with the Cruise-Holmes spawn might just not do the trick.
In a masterpiece of coinkydental timing, the South Park episode which mocked both Cruise and Scientology (Xenu! XENU! XENU!) was going to be shown on cable-TV, and it is rumoured that somebody got some lawyers to deluge the Comedy Channel with threatening pieces of paper full of "whereas" and "heretofore" and voila!: no more place for that episode in the schedule.
Y'see, the studio that produces the Mission Impossible films also owns the company which owns Comedy Central, and people point out that if Cruise were to threaten to do no publicity for the upcoming MI film that the studio might just pressure their subsidiary to not offend the toothy one for the time being. The studio, Comedy Central and Cruise's people are all denying that any such string-pulling occurred, but nobody appears to believe them.
Matt Stone and Trey Parker vow to never rest in their quest to mercilessly mock Cruise and Co$ anytime they damn well like, and released the following statement:
So, Scientology, you may have won this battle, but the
million-year war for earth has just begun!
Temporarily anozinizing our episode will not stop us from keeping Thetans
forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies.
Curses and drat! You have obstructed us now, but your feeble bid to save
humanity will fail! Hail Xenu.Trey Parker and Matt Stone,
servants to the dark lord Xenu.
Thankfully, the good folks at Operation Clambake, the place to go for all your truth-about-Scientology needs, have made the episode "Trapped in the Closet" available for us all. If your life will be forever blighted by not seeing Tom Cruise mocked mercilessly by Cartman (and truly, who among us could say that it would not), hie thee hither with your favorite bittorrent downloader (so they can save on bandwidth) and save it for posterity.
And just to put the cherry on the top of this tawdry tale, Isaac Hayes (the voice of Chef) is also a Scientologist, and has tendered his resignation to Parker and Stone citing religious bigotry on the show, an action he took before this cancellation of the episode's airing. Hayes apparently had no problem when the show mocked Christians, Jews and Muslims in other episodes, which is exactly the sort of double-standard those of us who've been reading Operation Clambake for a while would expect.