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New Escapist Column! On Tom Cruise as a Movie Star Defying Gravity…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine this evening. Given that he just announced plans to shoot a movie in outer space, it seemed like a good time to discuss Tom Cruise.

Cruise is a fascinating movie star. He’s one of the rare movie stars who has managed to remain a movie star for over three decades, at a time when movie stardom increasingly seems like an outdated concept. It’s interesting to look at how Cruise has navigated this shift, by essentially exerting enough gravity to bend established intellectual property towards him. There is no boundary between Ethan Hunt and Tom Cruise, whether Hunt is dangling out of an airplane in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation or atoning for a failed marriage in Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On the Computer-Generated James Dean and the Collapse of Movie Stardom into Intellectual Property…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine yesterday evening. This one covered the news that a computer-generated James Dean would be starring in a significant secondary role in the upcoming Finding Jack.

It’s an interesting precedent, the resurrection of a dead star to appear in a work completely unrelated to their previous commitments or roles. In some senses, although this particular case is very odd, it feels like a trial balloon for a larger shift happening behind the scenes. Over the past couple of decades, Hollywood has been moving closer and closer to intellectual property as a driving force behind its movie-making. The idea that movies could be populated with computer facsimiles of recognisable stars represents an attempt to collapse movie stardom into that intellectual propertisation.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.