Tom Cruise had a pretty huge day at the Cannes Film Festival, and it got even bigger in a way he wasn’t expecting. Along with premiering his new film Top Gun: Maverick, the star was honored with a surprise award. He was given an honorary Palme d’Or — the highest prize awarded at Cannes.
Even without the Palme d’Or, Tom Cruise already had a legendary day. Deadline reports that the premiere screening of Top Gun: Maverick was met with a standing ovation that lasted five full minutes (though The Hollywood Reporter put it at closer to six minutes, adding that it “brought Cruise to tears”). A tribute reel played before he received the Palme d’Or, and French fighter jets joined the celebration by flying over the proceedings trailed by blue, white, and red smoke. You can see images from the moment below.
As Tom Cruise spoke to the crowd, the actor impressed upon them how long in the making the day truly was. “It’s been 36 years since Top Gun and we had to hold this for two years because of the pandemic,” Cruise said. As much as many fans might have been skeptical about an idea of a Top Gun sequel over three decades after the first movie, according to critics it’s well worth the wait. The new Tom Cruise sequel is receiving nearly unanimous praise from reviewers and is currently enjoying a 97% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes. No, critics aren’t always right, but if nearly 100% of them say it’s good, it’s probably at least a little good.
Speaking of the limitations the pandemic imposed on much of the entertainment world, while speaking to the crowd at Cannes, Tom Cruise made it clear that any reports that there were discussions about releasing Top Gun: Maverick via streaming before a theatrical release were false. And that seems pretty much on-brand for Cruise, particularly considering the stories that have been surfacing about him allegedly butting heads with Paramount over the upcoming Mission: Impossible 7 and 8.
In March, THR credited unnamed sources with a story that Tom Cruise had been locked in a legal battle with Paramount since early 2021, and a lot of it has to do with a disagreement on when his final films as super spy Ethan Hunt will go from the big screen to streaming. THR’s sources say Paramount wants 45-day theatrical runs for both films while Cruise insists on his usual 3 month theatrical runs. He’s also reportedly given a firm thumbs down to two streaming projects the studio approached him with — a Mission: Impossible TV series, and another series based on his 1990 sports racing drama Days of Thunder.
While Tom Cruise is having a great time in Cannes, some fans are still bummed about another big film the actor failed to appear in. There were lots of rumors Cruise would appear as an alternate timeline version of Iron Man in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Last week, the movie’s writer Michael Waldron said there actually never were plans for him to appear, but Waldron made a half-hearted attempt to make it happen after the fan rumors inspired him to do so. He apparently approached Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige with the idea, but considering Cruise’s busy production schedule on Mission: Impossible, no attempt to reach out was made.