LATEST: Tom Cruise has found a new group to finance his films after being publicly dumped by Paramount Studios last week (ends27AUG06). The MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE star has cut a deal with a group that includes the owner of the Washington Redskins football team to finance the overhead costs of his film production company. Redskins owner DANIEL M SNYDER, chairman of Six Flag Inc, is said to be a leading investor in an agreement that would give Cruise less than $3 million (GBP1.6 million) annually to finance staff and office expenses. In exchange, Snyder and the others will have the ability to finance movies developed by Cruise and his producing partner, Paula Wagner. The two-year deal gives Cruise less than the $3 million a year that he reportedly turned down from Paramount Pictures to renew his longtime deal with the studio, which expires on Thursday (31AUG06). Cruise and Wagner had reportedly been receiving $10 million (GBP5.5 million) annually from Paramount to cover their overheads under their soon-to-be-expired deal with the studio. When Cruise was publicly dropped from Paramount's payroll by studio owner and Viacom Inc chairman SUMNER REDSTONE last week, Wagner claimed the pair had already lined up financing from hedge funds to cover the much larger cost of developing movies. The name of the hedge fund remains unknown and Cruise's lawyer, BERTRAM FIELDS, said last week there was no hedge fund deal. Several top banking sources tell the Los Angeles Times they had not head of any deal struck by Cruise with a hedge fund.