Bounding back nicely from his public spankings at the hand of Viacom's Sumner Redstone, Tom Cruise, in tandem with longtime producing partner Paula Wagner, has been tapped to breathe new life into United Artists, the film studio founded in 1919 by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and others. Under the agreement, Wagner will oversee day-to-day operations while Cruise produces and stars in films for the MGM-owned shingle. While UA aims to churn out four films a year, Cruise is free to star in projects for rivals, as well. "He's back in a bigger way than anyone could have imagined," Cruise's attorney boasts to the New York Daily News.

Since going into business together in 1993, Cruise and Wagner have reaped nearly $3 billion at the box office with such efforts as War of the Worlds and the Mission: Impossible franchise.