Tom Cruise is working on a boatload of spy thrillers – Champions, Matarese Circle, Tourist and more

William Gaunt as Richard Barrett in the British cult show The Champions
William Gaunt as Richard Barrett in the British cult show The Champions

Tom Cruise is circling a series of exciting espionage thrillers and spy adaptations right now. Variety posted a report on Cruise’ many projects in the works and what stands out is that he is developing, actively producing or being courted, for some top-notch projects, that reports say, should put him back on top of the blockbuster perch – assuming the projects are great.

Here is a complete rundown of his potential roster of action thrillers, and their status:

  • The Matarese Circle – David Cronenberg will direct this adaptation of the Robert Ludlum spy thriller, which Cruise will star opposite Denzel Washington. Cronenberg is about to tackle a rewrite of the script, based on the story of two bitter enemy spies who, after spending two decades trying to kill one another, must utilize their brutal skills and ice-cold nerves to battle an international circle of killers called the Matarese, that has targeted them both.
  • The Tourist – The Spyglass remake would co-star Charlize Theron. A rewrite of this project was recently turned in by Christopher McQuarrie, who co-wrote and produced Valkyrie. The story follows an American tourist used as a pawn in a spy game by a female Interpol agent.
  • Motorcade – A Len Wiseman-directed thriller that pits the U.S. president against terrorists who commandeer his motorcade on the streets of L.A. Billy Ray – who has written scripts for the upcoming State of Play and the Westworld remake – is currently rewriting the Motorcade screenplay, with input from Cruise.
  • The Champions – A big screen adaptation of the 1968 British spy series that starred Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo, William Gaunt and Anthony Nicholls. The show ran for 30 episodes, and told the story of a team of government agents that are rescued from a plane crash in the Himalayas by a secret and advanced civilization, then given superhuman abilities. The Variety report indicates that Cruise is likely to star in this project in 2010. McQuarrie is also writing The Champions, and will produce with Guillermo del Toro, who was originally attached to direct before committing to five years on the two Hobbit epics.

If that isn’t enough, Universal is also looking to get Cruise to star in the romantic comedy Lost for Words, in which he would play an actor who gets caught up in a love triangle with his beautiful Chinese director (played by Ziyi Zhang) and the filmmaker’s jealous translator. He may also re-team with his Tropic Thunder co-star Ben Stiller in a film called Hardy Men, for Fox 2000.