When you see those box office charts listing the biggest moneymakers of all time, that doesn't mean they're the most popular movies of all time.
He's one of the biggest-selling thriller writers in the world, whose Jack Reacher novels are so popular that one is sold every two seconds.
Tom Cruise has weathered ridicule, intense speculation about his family life, bumpy stretches at the box office brought on by audience disdain for his personal antics and some ill-considered movie projects. Yet he is right where he was when 1986's "Top Gun" vaulted him to superstardom: On top.
Just turned 50, Tom Cruise is eligible for membership in the American Association of Retired Persons. Just split from third wife Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise is the object of told-you-so cynics who simply knew that romance wouldn't last. Just finished with his stab at something really different as a heavy-metal rock god in "Rock of Ages," Tom Cruise is coming off one of the lowest-grossing movies in his career.
The idea of watching a movie in which a sniper methodically crafts his own bullets, practices weekly at a gun range, then waits quietly in an empty parking garage before shooting five people dead may not sound like the most appealing form of entertainment during these tragic days.
Writing series novels is tough. I did nine "Rogue Warrior" books, and that was enough. Making them fresh every time out of the gate; keeping your franchise character from getting stale; inventing the twists and turns that define the books; researching the tactics, techno-goodies and multiple locations that most action-adventure novels demand; and doing it all in the space of about 12 months per book -boy, that is tough work.
Some years back, I worked with one of Hollywood's Better Known Screenwriters developing an idea about urban street cops that we hoped would become a concept that we could turn into an outline that might evolve into a proposal that we could then pitch to a studio so we could get front money for a script.