The Best Director Ever Thinks Tom Cruise Saved Hollywood

Steven Spielberg told Tom Cruise that he and Top Gun 2 saved Hollywood.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

tom cruise top gun: maverick

Steven Spielberg thinks Tom Cruise single-handedly saved Hollywood, as the legendary filmmaker was overheard making the bold proclamation at the 2023 Academy Luncheon on February 13th. “You saved Hollywood’s a** and you might have saved theatrical distribution,” the 76-year-old told the Mission Impossible star. “Seriously, [Top Gun:] Maverick might have saved the entire theatrical industry.”

Tom Cruise looks rather humbled by the compliment and is seen shaking his head in the 45-second clip, shared on social media. During the pandemic, the actor resisted the temptation to debut the project on a streaming service. Instead, he was adamant that Paramount hold Top Gun: Maverick for theatrical release, The Hollywood Reporter says.

His patience paid off in a big way. The Tom Cruise-led feature was the highest-grossing domestic box office movie of 2022, earning $718 million. When combined with international receipts, the sequel raked in $1.5 billion. Top Gun: Maverick is also nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Visual Effects

Top Gun: Maverick is directed by Joseph Kosinski from a script by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie. Based on a story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks, it serves as a sequel to 1986’s Top Gun. Tom Cruise reprises his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, with Val Kilmer appearing as his old character Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky.

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Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, and Ed Harris also star. Set 36 years after the events of its predecessor, the story follows Maverick (Tom Cruise) continues pushing the limits as a test pilot. But his choices eventually take him back to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program known as Top Gun.

When Maverick (Tom Cruise) is tasked with training a detachment of graduates for a special mission, he crosses paths with Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of his late friend, and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw. Confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a battle with his deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice.

Following its May 2022 release, the Tom Cruise film was met with rave reviews from fans and critics. Top Gun: Maverick currently holds a 96% critics rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The site’s consensus describes the movie as a sequel that surpasses its predecessor in a wildly entertaining style. The only criticisms were the low representation of women and the role of the US military.

Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg have a long relationship. The pair previously worked together on Minority Report in 2002 and War of the Worlds in 2005. Along with Top Gun: MaverickSpider-Man: No Way Home has also been widely credited with helping revive the movie-going industry in 2021.

However, the Tom Cruise-led offering was also praised for crushing a box office heavily dominated by superhero movies for years. It also managed to bring older viewers back to cinemas.