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Hardy Boys II Men: Cruise & Stiller at Fox?

2/5/2007 5:40 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Hardy Boys composite with Tom Cruise and Ben StillerApparently, Kevin Federline's recent self-effacing Superbowl stunt has inspired Tom Cruise.

Insiders tell TMZ that Tom Cruise has been talking with Ben Stiller about starring in an updated version of "The Hardy Boys" at Twentieth Century Fox. Tentatively titled "The Hardy Men" -- a comedy that would be directed by Stiller's director on "A Night At the Museum," Shawn Levy ("The Pink Panther," "Cheaper By the Dozen").

"The Hardy Boys" detective novels date back to 1927, though a variety of ghost writers using the pen name of Franklin W. Dixon kept Frank and Joe Hardy perpetual teenagers. "The Hardy Men" would have them finally grown up, but up to their old tricks once more.

While nothing is set in stone, (like, say, that T. Rex skeleton from "Museum") the discussions do reveal a larger, more interesting development stemming from Cruise's L'affaire de sofa d' Oprah: What to do next when your public image has taken a public beating?

For starters: acknowledge the elephant in the room, and make fun of it. People familiar with Cruise's plans say that Cruise met with Stiller about starring in "Tropic Thunder," a farcical action-comedy Stiller has set up at DreamWorks Pictures that paraodies Cruise's work in Paramount's "Mission: Impossible" franchise. It's not clear why Cruise ultimately decided not to "go there" as "Thunder" would have been a way to publically demonstrate that Cruise actually has a sense of humor about his over-the-top antics. Perhaps it seemed simply too risky a financial prospect; in the ten years since its debut, the "Mission: Impossible" franchise has sold $1.4 billion worth of tickets worldwide. That kind of money, even with a franchise at its nadir, is hard to poke fun at when the checks have your name on them.

For now, it appears that Stiller will both play the lead role in and direct "Tropic Thunder." But insiders tell TMZ he hasn't given up on recruiting Cruise into a part that would allow the megastar to poke fun at his super-serious Ethan Hunt alter ego. "The Hardy Men" is primed to go into production come October, and regardless of whether he takes the gig, Cruise clearly sees comedy as a means to redeem both his public persona and the box office crown. Indeed, the fruits of Levy and Stiller's last collaboration are still being savored at Fox, where "A Night at the Museum" is in its seventh week on 3,000 screens, and has grossed $421 million worldwide. Or, put another way, $23 million more than "Mission: Impossible 3."
52 COMMENTS

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1.

ME    

I say Ashton and that kid from Napoleon Dynamite. Now *THAT* would be funny.

2746 days ago
2.

Kyle in Dallas    

He'd better make a gay porn or two while he still has some of his looks...Tom "Cruise" gimme a break.

2745 days ago
3.

Jeanette    

I will pay to see ANY movie that has Tom Cruise in it. If all these losers hate Tom Cruise why are they commenting on him? If I dislike someone that much, I would not spend an oz of my energy getting upset and hiuffing and panting. It adds more negative energy to the critic and think of the bad karma they are attracting to their own popularity stakes.
They must be drug addicts themselves (as obviously Tom is anti-drugs) and never been in love ( as they have obviously (again) never known what it is to loudly and openly declare their love to others.)

Jeanette

2733 days ago
4.

Lou    

i wonder why the only time black celebs make it on TMZ is when they are in trouble with the law.

yet TMZ seems to track upcoming projects of Jews.

Hmm....Harvey Levin?

2763 days ago
5.

boypeepee    

But one half's a KOOK (Scientologist). Ew. How about Ben Stiller and Jamie Foxx? Ben Stiller and Jimmy Fallon (SNL)? Jimmy Fallon and Jamie Fox????? Just, PLEASE, nooooooooooo Tom "Kooky Kloseted" Cruise!

2763 days ago
6.

igglefan    

Why do they keep remaking sh*t in Hollywood? Does anyone there have any original ideas? gimme a break.....the Hardy Men?

2763 days ago
7.

GO DOG YOUR THE MAN!!!!!!!    

hardy boys

hardy boys?????? tom would be better of playing a lead in Nancy drew misteries.why not come outtt and play nancy??????

2763 days ago
8.

boypeepee    

omg, omg, omg..... ashton kutcher! i looked at that top left-hand picture of that guy and thought that was ashton kutcher. get mr. demi moore on that project PRONTO and get... uh, david faustino ('married... with children'), i guess for the other guy.

lol yeah, tom's too nancy drew for this 'butch' project! lol

2763 days ago
9.

Great Dane    

I can't stand Tom Cruise, his wife, the scientology bullsh*t......

The jerk got mad at Oprah, because HE JUMPED ON A COUCH.....
Got mad at Brooke, for taking medication for post-pardom depression......wigged out on Matt Lauer......

He is a freak, and this is coming from someone that used to be a big fan.......I don't know what has happend to him- but, FOX....don't hire him!!!!!!!!!

2763 days ago
10.

kt    

talk about desperate and stupid!
no more remakes!
no more tom cruise! go away!

2763 days ago
11.

anonymous    

this seems like a pretty good idea actually ...

2763 days ago
12.

Jason Elias    

I'm not sure if the movie would makes it past the planning stages but the Hardy Men sounds like a hilarious idea for a comedy.

2763 days ago
13.

oat    

I don't care who else might be involved, I will NEVER spend my money that has tom cruise' name attached to it in ANT way shape OR form .

NEVER NEVER EVER!

2762 days ago
14.

Joel    

Come on. Hollywood is like any other business - it all boils down to profit. It's also about who you know, and Stiller's people know everyone. After all, he's talented and from a Jewish show-business family. He's the son of Jerry Stiller, who played George Costanza's dad on Seinfeld. For those who don't know, Seinfeld was financed, managed and acted almost entirely by Jews. I'm not saying anything bad about Jews. But if you want to stay in show business, you stay on their good side like Tom is doing. If you don't like Cruise, and you want to see him go away, just don't watch any of his movies! I'm still laughing at all the people who said they couldn't stand Tom after his couch-jumping episode on Oprah (and the Brooke Shields squabble) and how they would NEVER go see his movies again. But as soon as MI-III came out, all those same idiots seemed mighty comfy at the theater with their buttered popcorn and on-screen Cruise. I think Cruise is an exceptional talent but has some major issues (like many other people). But if I'm interested in a movie, I'm not going to skip it just because the lead actor might be in the closet, acts crazy off-screen sometimes, pokes at other celebrities, and practices Scientology. Similarly, I love to listen to Kieth Richards play guitar, but I don't love the fact that he's been a junkie all of his life. Sometimes you have to separate an artist's life from their work - especially when they (and their reps) are doing a horrible job of it.

2762 days ago
15.

JaneaneTheAcerbicGoblin    

Maybe Cruise wants Stiller and his wife (Christine Taylor) to join Scientology. Cruise is a freak, Stiller is a one note actor, and the Hardy Boys suck.

2762 days ago
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