Tom Cruise — yes, the Tom Cruise — has joined the production of Ben Stiller’s upcoming action comedy Tropic Thunder. The film follows a group of actors who are on location shooting a big-budget war movie when they fall victim to a series of freak occurrences, forcing them to become actual soldiers. But Cruise doesn’t play any of the actors, he will allegedly star as a fat movie mogul. As proof, check out the picture at JustJared.

Oh the chest hair! Let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s been a long time since Tom Cruise has taken a breath from being too serious about himself and a photo like this gives us hope. Do you remember his cameo in Austin Powers: Goldmember? That was funny. How about the DVD extra for MI:2 with his ole’ pal Ben Stiller (as stunt double Tom Crooze)? For my money, this cameo will be the best that we will see from Cruise in 2007-2008 — Lions for Lambs was an unsurprising snore-fest and Brian Singer’s Valkyrie looks like a giant turd, complete with a bunch of Nazis (Cruise included) who don’t even have German accents.

Combine this with the rest of the Tropic Thunder cast; Matthew McConaughey, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Nick Nolte, Bill Hader and Justin Theroux and we’ve got ourselves a certifiable movie to keep an eye on.

Tropic Thunder is due out on July 11, 2008.

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