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Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III

Stephen Vaughan/Paramount Pictures

Tom Cruise is making all the right moves in the kitchen.

Following up his much-buzzed-about, side-splitting performance sending up a Hollywood mogul in Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder, the A-lister is cruising for more laughs, tentatively signing on to Food Fight, a comedy for Universal poking fun at snobby gourmet types.

Per the Hollywood Reporter, the 46-year-old Cruise will essay the role of a New York chef who's forced to pack his knives and leave the elite world of first-class eateries to cook meals at a school cafeteria.

The movie will be penned by Adam Brooks, the writer-director of the recently released Definitely, Maybe. No word yet on a helmer. Filmmaker Steven Brill (Drillbit Taylor) was originally in talks to take the reins on Food Fight, but a deal couldn't be reached.

Save what were essentially cameos in Tropic Thunder and Austin Powers: Goldmember, the last time the thesp tickled our funny bone was in 1996's Jerry Maguire, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

Of course, Cruise's big screen breakthrough came in the 1983 comedy Risky Business, so Food Fight would represent something of a return to form. In the intervening years, he's mostly plied his trade in dramas, thrillers and action flicks like Mission: Impossible. In fact, he'll continue in that vein with next year's World War II drama, Valkyrie, in which he plays a Nazi colonel out to assassinate Hitler.

But he's also loosely attached to join forces again with Stiller and costar in a feature film update of The Hardy Boys detective books for 20th Century Fox called The Hardy Men. Last but not least, he's being touted for the lead role in Old School director Todd Phillips' Men, a dramedy about an ad exec who becomes roommates with his wife's artist-lover in order to sabotage their affair.

Meanwhile, in other casting news:

  • Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi, who scored an Oscar nod for her turn as a deaf girl in 2006's Babel, is in negotiations to topline Map of the Sounds of Tokyo, a drama about a fish-market employee who moonlights as a contract killer. Spanish helmer Isabel Coixet is slated to write and direct.
  • Mary-Louise Parker has been tapped to star in the Broadway revival of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler for the Roundabout Theater Company. The thesp last graced the Great White Way in Craig Lucas' Reckless, which nabbed her a Tony nomination. Previews begin Jan. 6 at the American Airlines Theater, and the play officially opens Jan. 25.