A few years ago, this would have made for quite an intriguing pairing, when both actors were sure bets at the box office. Denzel Washington still is somewhat, although he's been quickly overtaken by Will Smith; however, Tom Cruise's star has fallen quite a bit in recent years, and he's simply not the hot property he once was. Both, I'd say, are less appealing to the coveted 18 to 35 year old male demographic; as each has aged, so have the characters they have played, as well as the audience that appreciates them.
However, I'm sure, when the below film hits theatres next year, it'll still be a draw.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
Those moviegoers hoping to see Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise face off on the big screen will get their chance with MGM's big-budget adaptation of "The Matarese Circle." Cruise is in final negotiations to take on the role of the Russian spy Vasili Taleniekov, mortal enemy of American intelligence operative Brandon Scofield, to be played by Washington.
"Eastern Promises" director David Cronenberg will direct the globetrotting potential franchise-launcher.
Adapted by "Wanted" scribes Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, and Cronenberg, from a 1979 Robert Ludlum novel, the "Matarese" storyline follows two decades-long arch-enemies who are forced into a distrustful collaboration against a wide-reaching political conspiracy orchestrated by a mysterious organization called the Matarese.
Ludlum drew inspiration from David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission in the 1970s. But the screenwriters have updated the timeframe from the Cold War to a contemporary setting.
Having David Cronenberg at the helm is intriguing. David Cronenberg directing a globetrotting, big-budget, Hollywood action movie, with 2 mega stars and their egos?
This I have to see... I love most of Cronenberg's work, and looking forward to seeing what he does playing in a much larger sandbox.
I'm not at all familiar with the Robert Ludlum novel... yet another book to add to my lengthy list of books to read. The man's estate (he died in 2001) must be well endowed, so to speak. All 3 Bourne movies were based on books his wrote. Others have been previously adapted as well.
Given that it's Cronenberg, I hope the production studio pushes for an R-rated film; All the Bourne movies were rated PG13. They were all good, especially the 2 directed by Paul Greengrass. But I can only imagine how much grittier and real they could have been if allowed to shaken up the MPAA.