"I have nothing to lose," Tom Cruise says.
He's not talking about his pending divorce from Katie Holmes, his wife of more than five years. Instead, the "Mission: Impossible" star utters that phrase — along with "I am not a hero" — in the trailer released Tuesday for "Jack Reacher," Cruise's next film.
The Paramount Pictures action movie, due in theaters Dec. 21, is adapted from Lee Child's novel "One Shot" and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "The Usual Suspects." Cruise plays a retired military investigator in a plot involving a military sniper. The film costars Rosamund Pike and Robert Duvall. Paramount is hopeful the character could become part of a franchise.
Cruise's last film, "Rock of Ages," was a box-office dog. The actor, who turned 50 on Tuesday, is filming the alien thriller "Oblivion" in Iceland, where he was when he learned last week that Holmes, 33, seeks to end their marriage.
Rowling's book aimed at adults
Move over, Harry Potter. Author J.K. Rowling has written her first book for adults, and it's coming soon. "The Casual Vacancy" will be released worldwide on Sept. 27, and publisher Little, Brown revealed its cover Tuesday morning.
Little, Brown describes the 512-page novel as "a big book about a small town." Here are a few more details:
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is seemingly an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.
Rowling was a single mother struggling to make ends meet when she wrote "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," published in the U.S. in 1998 as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." The book and its sequels were huge bestsellers; the series has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide.
Constable work nets huge price
Christie's auction house in London says a piece by John Constable has sold for 22.4 million pounds, setting a record price for the English romantic painter at auction.
"The Lock," finished in 1824, is one of six paintings from Constable's celebrated series depicting the Stour Valley. The painting, which came from the collection of Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, was the last of the series to remain in private hands, according to Christie's.
It said the piece — which it said was "remarkable
for its excellent state of preservation" — was sold Tuesday night in London to an anonymous bidder over the phone.
The auction house had estimated the piece would fetch between 20 million and 25 million pounds.
Music festival honors Franklin
One of the premier music festivals celebrating black culture and music is branching out, extending its footprint in its 18th year to embrace the next generation of artists while still trumpeting industry veterans such as Aretha Franklin.
The Essence Music Festival has added a fourth day to its concert series in New Orleans. On Thursday — its opening day — Essence will focus solely on youth, including rapper Diggy Simmons, the Disney Channel's Coco Jones, the OMG Girlz and New Orleans' own the Roots of Music. Essence runs through Sunday with performances set for the Superdome.
"I've never been, but I know it's important," said 14-year-old Coco, who was discovered on the Disney Channel's "Next Big Thing" and starred in its TV musical movie "Let It Shine," which aired last month.
On Sunday, the Franklin will be crowned with the Essence "Power Award" for four decades of hits including "Respect," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Chain of Fools" and "Think."
Senator has a 'Batman' cameo
U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont is renewing his fascination with Batman with a cameo appearance in "The Dark Knight Rises," which will get its first public showing in his home state.
Leahy was invited to be in the movie and says he learned recently he'll appear in a scene with Christian Bale, who plays Batman, and Morgan Freeman.
The movie will be screened July 15 in Williston ahead of its July 20 U.S. premiere.
Leahy says Warner Bros. Chief Executive Barry Meyer will join him at the Vermont screening.
The Democratic senator has had a lifelong fascination with the Caped Crusader. In 2007, he appeared in "The Dark Knight."
Baldwin's gift to N.Y. orchestra
Just days after tying the knot with his yoga instructor, Alec Baldwin donated
$1 million to the New York Philharmonic.
The gift is in honor of outgoing President and Executive Director Zarin Mehta.
The "30 Rock" actor is an orchestra board member and hosts its radio show, "The New York Philharmonic This Week."
Mehta said Baldwin's "remarkably generous gift is just the latest in his steadfast and inspiring support" of the orchestra.
Mehta's 12-year tenure ends after the 2011-2012 season.
The Philharmonic said the gift is a donation of proceeds Baldwin received from a Capital One advertising campaign.
Baldwin married Hilaria Thomas on Saturday.