LATEST: Hollywood insiders are branding Tom Cruise desperate for signing up with a finance group whose members own amusement parks and football teams. The MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE star announced yesterday (28AUG06) that he had negotiated a deal with Washington Redskins owner DANIEL M SNYDER and Six Flags amusement park chief executive MARK SHAPIRO. Cruise was publicly dropped from Paramount Pictures last week (ends27AUG06), after the studio decided not to renew his contract after 14 years. According to the Los Angeles Times, Cruise and his representatives had been shopping for another studio in Hollywood all summer without success. The newspaper interviewed numerous talent agents and movie executives, who did not want to be named because the talks were confidential. At least three studios had rejected Cruise's terms, the newspaper claims. According to one agency executive, "It all feels very knee-jerk. This feels very Plan C, maybe even Plan D. "When you lose your studio and you get into business with amusement parks, that's a problem."