Tom Cruise

Tom H. of Fairlawn, N.J., wrote to ask, “What is Tom Cruise up to lately? … Is he making anything but ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies?”

Cruise and a partner own United Artists and have been looking for projects. However, it looks as if he will star in the Warner Brothers/New Line film version of the Broadway smash hit “Rock of Ages.” Adam Shankman, who brought “Hairspray” to the screen, will direct and choreograph the film, built around rock hits of the ’80s by Journey, Joan Jett, Bon Jovi and Pat Benatar. It follows a couple who meet at a Sunset Strip club called Rock of Ages, fall in love and try to stay together while living the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Could Tom’s recent appearance on an awards show as an older/fictitious character who danced with Jennifer Lopez been an audition for this role? Will we be able to accept him as a rock star, and will he sing well enough to pull it off? We’ll just have to wait and see!

Oh, the power of a hit television series. Last year no one had ever heard of Chord Overstreet, who plays Sam Evans on the Fox show “Glee.” The Nashville native is the son of country-music singer-songwriter Paul Overstreet and the brother of Nash Overstreet of the Hot Chelle Rae band. A small role on “iCarly” and in the film “The Hole” (’09) brought him to “Glee’s” door. For his 22nd birthday, Chord received an offer he couldn’t refuse: a reported $10,000 for a personal appearance at the Las Vegas nightclub Tao in The Venetian Hotel, plus $2,500 in gambling money (they love people seeing celebs gambling at their tables), as well as airline tickets and hotel rooms for his 15 closest friends. Talk about celebrating your birthday Hollywood style! Another birthday present was being signed to star with Ashley Greene and Kellan Lutz in the upcoming film “Warrior,” due out later this year.

20th Century Fox Studios wants to add another notch to the “Alien” franchise. The original, “Alien” (1979), was followed by “Aliens” (’86), “Alien 3” (’92), and “Alien Resurrection (’97). Then came the prequels, “Alien vs. Predator” (’04), “Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (’07) and now there will be “Prometheus,” with Oscar winner Charlize Theron and Michael Fastbinder. Original director Ridley Scott will be back for this one, set to be released in June 2012. I didn’t sleep for weeks after I saw the original “Alien,” but since then we’ve been more scared by aliens invading the U.S. borders than those from outer space!

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© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.