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View Full Version : Tom Cruise as Billy Fiske officially canned?



Feathered_IV
09-02-2006, 09:15 AM
http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=2347697&page=2

Mixed feelings about this one http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/halo.gif


Before the parting with Paramount, Cruise/Wagner had at least eight projects in production or development. They include the following:

"The Few" €" a Michael Mann film featuring Cruise in the true-life story of American pilot Billy Fiske, who broke the U.S. policy of neutrality and began flying against the Germans before World War II was declared.

LStarosta
09-02-2006, 09:33 AM
Kind of OT from the OT, but I'm glad Cruise didn't play Steve Prefontaine in "Without Limits". He would have killed the character because a) he's too old, b) people have expectations from his other characters and c) he looks nothing like Steve.

Billy Crudup did a good job, though.

I suppose those are some of the same reasons why people don't want him for their roles anymore.

Xiolablu3
09-02-2006, 09:39 AM
COme out of the closet!

sukebeboy
09-02-2006, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by Feathered_IV:
http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=2347697&page=2

Mixed feelings about this one http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/halo.gif


Before the parting with Paramount, Cruise/Wagner had at least eight projects in production or development. They include the following:

"The Few" €" a Michael Mann film featuring Cruise in the true-life story of American pilot Billy Fiske, who broke the U.S. policy of neutrality and began flying against the Germans before World War II was declared.

Amazing how they say "true-life story". Not to take anything away from Mr. Fiske's commitment and sacrifice, but he flew only a few missions, never downed an enemy, and died either in a landing mishap on in a bombing raid that followed almost immediately after. In the movie version, the character of Fiske assumes the role of plucky leader who both inspires the poor, hapless Brits and eventually leads them to victory in the Battle of Britain.


Billy Fiske was a racing driver, a pilot, an Olympic gold medallist and an American - but one thing he did not do was win the Battle of Britain single-handed. Veterans and historians fear that will be the impression given, however, when Tom Cruise plays Fiske in a new film called The Few.

"I've heard it is almost like he won the war all on his own," says Ben Clinch, who loaded the guns fired by the real Billy Fiske and his comrades in 601 Squadron during the summer of 1940. "I can't see how they can make a film of Fiske's life. It was quite short. He was unremarkable, in the context of the squadron. He was just another pilot as far as we were concerned."

Hollywood's version of the Second World War has already shown Americans capturing the Enigma code machine in U571 (they didn't) and leading The Great Escape from a German prisoner of war camp (also not true). Pearl Harbor even suggested that the RAF only thwarted the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1941 (the battle actually occured in the summer of 1940) because US pilots popped across the Atlantic to help out. Now Mr Cruise looks set to expand on that with his own version of what Churchill called our "finest hour".

Fiske was a remarkable character who did fly in the Battle of Britain, but recorded no confirmed kills. "It is going to be a farce if we have the Yanks shooting down everything in sight," says Bill Bond of the Battle of Britain Historical Society. "The battle was four weeks old when Billy was shot down. He made several sorties but he didn't shoot anything down, and his impact on the battle was negligible. We are concerned."

The Few is being made by Michael Mann, director of Top Gun, the jet-fighter movie that made Tom Cruise's name. Currently in development, it will be based on the life of William Meade Lindsley Fiske III, son of a wealthy Chicago family, who became the youngest Winter Olympics contestant to win a gold medal, in the bobsleigh at the age of 16. Handsome, charming and addicted to speed, he married the former Countess of Warwick and raced at Le Mans. So far, so historical, and filmable. But alarm bells started ringing when Variety, the movie world's magazine of choice, described the film's historical content. "In 1940, expert German fighters had decimated the Royal Air Force to the point that there weren't enough pilots left to fly the Spitfire planes sitting idly in hangars," it said. "Unable to rouse the US into action, a desperate Winston Churchill hatched a covert effort to recruit civilian American pilots to join the RAF. Risking prison sentences in the then-neutral US, a ragtag bunch of pilots answered the call." The magazine also looked forward to "ferocious dogfights between the overmatched American pilots and the German ace fliers".

This account prompted despairing laughter from Bill Bond last week. "It's hilarious," he said. "Totally wrong. The whole bloody lot. They flew Hurricanes for a start." Spitfires have a more romantic image, however. "Recruited by Churchill? ****. They wouldn't have gone to prison either." And as for the idea of aircraft sitting idly by in hangars while the brave Americans took to the skies: "What a load of bloody rubbish. We did have a pilot shortage, but not to that extent."

Mr Bond has much more confidence in the accuracy of a forthcoming book by the author Alex Kershaw, whose proposal was the inspiration for The Few. The book is due to be published by Michael Joseph next year. Mr Kershaw also wrote The Bedford Boys, the basis for the film Saving Private Ryan.

There was no crack American squad of flyers, but at least nine US citizens did fly and fight during the Battle of Britain, according to the aviation historian Andy Saunders. "It would be an injustice to the memory of Billy Fiske were Hollywood to corrupt his story," said Mr Saunders in a recent edition of Aeroplane magazine. Although a gifted pilot, Fiske was frustrated by his own lack of combat action. His Hurricane caught fire in the air on 16 August 1940, but nobody knows whether this was because of enemy bullets or an accident. Soon after he landed, his airfield, RAF Tangmere, was attacked by Stuka bombers. Fiske died in hospital the next day from his burns.

Two other American pilots had been killed before him, but it was the dashing, well-connected Fiske who caught the public imagination - or was recognised as useful for propaganda purposes. Churchill sent a wreath to his airfield, and in July 1941 a plaque was unveiled by the Minister for Air at St Paul's Cathedral. His gravestone at Boxgrove in Sussex was replaced and rededicated in 2002.

"There is no doubt the Few, as Churchill called them, were wonderful," said Ben Clinch, now chairman of the 601 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Old Comrades' Association. "They gave their lives without thought. It's a good job they were there."

But his memories of the time are very different to those told in heroic movies: 601 was nicknamed the Millionaire's Squadron because most of its pilots moved in high social circles. "They were very aloof," said Mr Clinch.

When petrol rationing hit hard, one of the wealthy flyers bought a local garage outright, he said. "We used to get visits from theatrical types from the West End. The stars went to see the officers. The chorus line went to the non-commissioned officers. We got nothing."

Mr Clinch saw Billy Fiske's Hurricane land for the last time but took cover as buildings around him exploded. He has a print of a painting on his wall that shows one version of Fiske's last moments, but at 85 he is bemused by the attempts to immortalise this one of many pilots. "This resurrection is commercial, as far as I can see," he said. "But at my age I let sleeping dogs lie."

DuxCorvan
09-02-2006, 11:41 AM
I hope they give the project to Mel Gibson. We'll see how the evil and ungrateful British turn against the US and join the nazis in an effort to invade North America.

After one villain RAF officer with mechanic legs called Darth Bader kills Fiske's sons and burn his cottage, and after lusty Churchill rapes his wife, his sister amd his daughter, he defects the RAF and forms a rebel squadron of Mustangs which fight the barbaric English from a secret airfield in Croydon.

But, ah, there is a traitor within who reveals the airfield secret whereabouts. Fiske is captured and tortured and the Mustangs are destroyed. There's even a scene with Bader drowning kittens in a bath tub. Fortunately, Fiske escapes after seducing Churchill's beautiful daughter, and there's a final incredible dogfight between Fiske in his Mustang and Bader and Galland in Spitfire and 109, respectively. A French friend of Fiske, called Jacques Bonjour, dies in the process, calling his mama and all.

He wins, while Mustangs and B-17s fly from America to free Europe. Hitler hides in his bunker, and Churchill jumps from the Parliament tower into the Thames.

All the Ewoks celebrate with fireworks in the background, while Churchill's daughter practices oral sex with Fiske.

Bo_Nidle
09-02-2006, 12:18 PM
Just to correct that article: Michael Mann did NOT direct Top Gun, that was Tony Scott.

Mann directed Cruise in Colateral.

I thought the Few had potential as Mann is an outstanding director with a fastidious eye for detail.

LStarosta
09-02-2006, 12:40 PM
So what's the dog called in this film?

Jasko76
09-02-2006, 12:41 PM
Well... I guess it's just as well. I just can't stand modern airwar movies. To much CGI and not enough real hardware!

panther3485
09-02-2006, 12:47 PM
If this movie is officially 'canned', then I for one am immensely relieved. We've had far too much of this sort of cr@p from Hollywood already.

BiscuitKnight
09-02-2006, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
I hope they give the project to Mel Gibson. We'll see how the evil and ungrateful British turn against the US and join the nazis in an effort to invade North America.

After one villain RAF officer with mechanic legs called Darth Bader kills Fiske's sons and burn his cottage, and after lusty Churchill rapes his wife, his sister amd his daughter, he defects the RAF and forms a rebel squadron of Mustangs which fight the barbaric English from a secret airfield in Croydon.

But, ah, there is a traitor within who reveals the airfield secret whereabouts. Fiske is captured and tortured and the Mustangs are destroyed. There's even a scene with Bader drowning kittens in a bath tub. Fortunately, Fiske escapes after seducing Churchill's beautiful daughter, and there's a final incredible dogfight between Fiske in his Mustang and Bader and Galland in Spitfire and 109, respectively. A French friend of Fiske, called Jacques Bonjour, dies in the process, calling his mama and all.

He wins, while Mustangs and B-17s fly from America to free Europe. Hitler hides in his bunker, and Churchill jumps from the Parliament tower into the Thames.

All the Ewoks celebrate with fireworks in the background, while Churchill's daughter practices oral sex with Fiske.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

I'd pay to see that, finally we'd be shown the truth, instead of the history books carefully editted by those evil Poms with bad teeth who're conspiring to take over the world, again.

PlaneEater
09-02-2006, 01:32 PM
"The Few is being made by Michael Mann, director of Top Gun"

Uh, Tony Scott directed Top Gun.

stanford-ukded
09-02-2006, 01:44 PM
There's already a thread which states the film will be ****, totally inaccurate and American-biased. Everyone knows this, because we here are not ignorant to the facts.

We just need to drop it. If they **** it up, they **** it up.

Aaron_GT
09-02-2006, 02:35 PM
Fiske is captured and tortured and the Mustangs are destroyed.

And the renegade fellow American pilot Dan "Solo" Smith (who has a tobacco-chewing wingman) is also captured and encased in bakelite and given to the Bobby Reinhardt, bounty-hunter son of the jazz guitarist Django.

turnipkiller
09-02-2006, 02:53 PM
While I am very relieved at this news, I hope we will not forget that even though Mr. Fiske didn't have a illustrious career, he did serve and lose his life. He seems to be getting quite a bad rap for "doing nothing" over there. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Friendly_flyer
09-02-2006, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
He wins, while Mustangs and B-17s fly from America to free Europe. Hitler hides in his bunker, and Churchill jumps from the Parliament tower into the Thames.

All the Ewoks celebrate with fireworks in the background, while Churchill's daughter practices oral sex with Fiske.

That made my evening, that did!

Low_Flyer_MkVb
09-02-2006, 02:59 PM
Got to agree with turnipkiller here. Fiske had quite an interesting (if priveledged) life. He died in the service of a foreign country (mine). Respect is due.

DuxCorvan
09-02-2006, 03:05 PM
Nothing against Mr. Fiske, the real man. He did his duty, and he has not less merit for that, specially having paid the biggest price, as he did.

It's only that his efforts, while worth of praise as they are, may not be interesting enough for the movie market, and there exists a risk of creating a completely fictional legend around his figure, which isn't good, either for History's sake nor even for the memory of the real Fiske, who does not deserve being involved in a money-making farce.

orkan_3d
09-02-2006, 03:06 PM
Churchill's daughter practices oral sex with Fiske.

I`d like to see that in Holiwood movie! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

Low_Flyer_MkVb
09-02-2006, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
Nothing against Mr. Fiske, the real man. He did his duty, and he has not less merit for that, specially having paid the biggest price, as he did.

It's only that his efforts, while worth of praise as they are, may not be interesting enough for the movie market, and there exists a risk of creating a completely fictional legend around his figure, which isn't good, either for History's sake nor even for the memory of the real Fiske, who does not deserve being involved in a money-making farce.

I agree http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Aaron_GT
09-02-2006, 03:29 PM
Are there any good documentaries about Fiske? If not then perhaps something good, and accurate, would be a more fitting tribute to him than the inflation of Cruise's bank account.

Low_Flyer_MkVb
09-02-2006, 03:36 PM
http://www.fiskes.co.uk/billy_fiske.htm

HuninMunin
09-02-2006, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
I hope they give the project to Mel Gibson. We'll see how the evil and ungrateful British turn against the US and join the nazis in an effort to invade North America.

After one villain RAF officer with mechanic legs called Darth Bader kills Fiske's sons and burn his cottage, and after lusty Churchill rapes his wife, his sister amd his daughter, he defects the RAF and forms a rebel squadron of Mustangs which fight the barbaric English from a secret airfield in Croydon.

But, ah, there is a traitor within who reveals the airfield secret whereabouts. Fiske is captured and tortured and the Mustangs are destroyed. There's even a scene with Bader drowning kittens in a bath tub. Fortunately, Fiske escapes after seducing Churchill's beautiful daughter, and there's a final incredible dogfight between Fiske in his Mustang and Bader and Galland in Spitfire and 109, respectively. A French friend of Fiske, called Jacques Bonjour, dies in the process, calling his mama and all.

He wins, while Mustangs and B-17s fly from America to free Europe. Hitler hides in his bunker, and Churchill jumps from the Parliament tower into the Thames.

All the Ewoks celebrate with fireworks in the background, while Churchill's daughter practices oral sex with Fiske.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif
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SkyChimp
09-02-2006, 04:36 PM
If Tom Cruise can't do it, I hope they get Ben Aflek. He was so good in Pearl Harbor.

ploughman
09-02-2006, 04:37 PM
He's got experience too.

And he's slept with Kate Beckingsdale.

DuxCorvan
09-02-2006, 04:40 PM
Originally posted by Ploughman:
And he's slept with Kate Beckingsdale.

You said it: he *slept*. That says all. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

ploughman
09-02-2006, 04:41 PM
That's true, it was the other bloke what kept her awake. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

panther3485
09-02-2006, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by turnipkiller:
While I am very relieved at this news, I hope we will not forget that even though Mr. Fiske didn't have a illustrious career, he did serve and lose his life. He seems to be getting quite a bad rap for "doing nothing" over there. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Good point. All who served deserve to be remembered with honour - it's not a matter of 'kills'.

panther3485
09-02-2006, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by SkyChimp:
If Tom Cruise can't do it, I hope they get Ben Aflek. He was so good in Pearl Harbor.

Yes. He suited the tone of that movie to perfection!

Feathered_IV
09-03-2006, 02:30 AM
The other thing is Tom Cruise is just so bloody old. I guess they could have cast him as a pouchy, middle aged, present day journalist uncovering the story or something.

And regarding the real Mr. Fiske, I agree that respect is still due. He gave his all. I wouldn't like to see him become a watchword for BS.

cawimmer430
09-03-2006, 05:04 AM
Scientology and piloting don't mix. Don't they believe that men have wings and can fly on their own? Who needs airplanes!? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Ruy Horta
09-03-2006, 05:53 AM
Originally posted by Feathered_IV:
The other thing is Tom Cruise is just so bloody old. I guess they could have cast him as a pouchy, middle aged, present day journalist uncovering the story or something.

Guess you are too young to remember Risky Business and Taps http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

I consider myself to be young(ish), but get myself to see Tom Cruise as an old guy!

I'll fess up I like his movies, perhaps not all of them have stood the test of time, but still.

I also like old Mel Gibson, who's a little more ripe in years (I'll forgive his Passion, which isn't even that bad in production terms and acting if it hadn't been for the lack of a proper plot other than bloody horror and senseless sadism).

Looks like I fail on about every "popular forum demand", but that doesn't stop me from enjoying a nice movie or reading good books (from the other side of the hill).

Tabeh!

DuxCorvan
09-03-2006, 06:01 AM
Originally posted by cawimmer430:
Scientology and piloting don't mix. Don't they believe that men have wings and can fly on their own? Who needs airplanes!?

Mmm, you sound like you have a lot of dead alien thetans roaming inside your pants. You need to auditing for a new OT level ASAP. Check your VISA.

cawimmer430
09-03-2006, 06:12 AM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by cawimmer430:
Scientology and piloting don't mix. Don't they believe that men have wings and can fly on their own? Who needs airplanes!?

Mmm, you sound like you have a lot of dead alien thetans roaming inside your pants. You need to auditing for a new OT level ASAP. Check your VISA. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

???

I don't have a clue as to what you just said. English isn't my first language BTW.

Hrannar
09-03-2006, 06:19 AM
Originally posted by DuxCorvan:
After one villain RAF officer with mechanic legs called Darth Bader kills Fiske's sons and burn his cottage, and after lusty Churchill rapes his wife, his sister amd his daughter, he defects the RAF and forms a rebel squadron of Mustangs which fight the barbaric English from a secret airfield in Croydon.

But, ah, there is a traitor within who reveals the airfield secret whereabouts. Fiske is captured and tortured and the Mustangs are destroyed. There's even a scene with Bader drowning kittens in a bath tub. Fortunately, Fiske escapes after seducing Churchill's beautiful daughter, and there's a final incredible dogfight between Fiske in his Mustang and Bader and Galland in Spitfire and 109, respectively. A French friend of Fiske, called Jacques Bonjour, dies in the process, calling his mama and all.

He wins, while Mustangs and B-17s fly from America to free Europe. Hitler hides in his bunker, and Churchill jumps from the Parliament tower into the Thames.

All the Ewoks celebrate with fireworks in the background, while Churchill's daughter practices oral sex with Fiske.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif Mods please ban Dux, and you cant find a good reason to do so, send him to my house to clean the monitor.

AWL_Spinner
09-03-2006, 06:37 AM
DuxCorvan, congrats on the funniest forum post this year. In my humble opinion. That Darth Bader sounds like a mean SOB.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Feathered_IV
09-03-2006, 07:38 AM
Originally posted by Ruy Horta:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Feathered_IV:
The other thing is Tom Cruise is just so bloody old. I guess they could have cast him as a pouchy, middle aged, present day journalist uncovering the story or something.

Guess you are too young to remember Risky Business and Taps http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

I consider myself to be young(ish), but get myself to see Tom Cruise as an old guy!
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hehe http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif
I remember those when I was in high school alright : ) I just wasn't sure Fiske was 40+ when he was in the BoB.