Edwin A. Salt Gets New Lead, Sex, and Title

Bye bye, Tom Cruise — Hello, Angelina Jolie? Yup, that’s the word from the trades, which reports something I’ve never heard of before — an existing movie with a major movie star that is going through a mammoth change. Not only is Tom Cruise out as the lead of the spy thriller “Edwin A. Salt”, but the movie will now be rewritten for a female lead (Jolie), and as a result, the title will of course also have to change to reflect the new lead’s sex change. Wow, how much lower can Tom Cruise fall? You decide!

THR has more on the hullabaloo:

Screenwriter Kurt Wimmer will redraft the screenplay, about a CIA officer who must prove she is not a Russian sleeper spy out to assassinate the president, to suit Jolie. Phillip Noyce remains attached to “Salt” as director with Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Sunil Perkash producing.

The title also will change.

The project has a long history, with directors coming and going, though Cruise has long been tethered to it. The deal for the switch began to fall into place about two weeks ago, though Columbia topper Amy Pascal has been after Jolie for a project for more than two years.

Well at least they’ve still got Noyce attached to direct. Until next week, most likely, when he, too, is replaced. I tell ya, this movie has seen more changes than RuPaul’s plastic surgeon. Now all they need is an excuse for Jolie’s character to strip naked while being chased by CIA agents. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

But don’t cry for the Cruiseter. He may have been dumped unceremoniously from a movie, but he might be getting a new one. A comedy, of all things, called “Food Fight”. About that project:

The A-lister is loosely attached to “Food Fight,” a warmhearted comedy about a snooty New York chef who is forced to cook meals at a school cafeteria, with Cruise playing the role of the chef. The project is set up at Universal-based Working Title.

Veteran scribe Adam Brooks, who most recently wrote and directed the divorce dramedy “Definitely, Maybe,” is attached to write the screenplay. “Drillbit Taylor” helmer Steven Brill had been in talks to direct “Food Fight,” but they came to naught; a search for a new director is under way.

See? Katie Holmes won’t leave him just yet.

Angelina Jolie in Wanted