Tom Cruise brings his passion for big screen to Cannes

Tom Cruise gushed about his passion for cinema as he made his first visit in 30 years to the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday for the launch of “Top Gun: Maverick”.

The French Air Force display team streaked across the sky over the red carpet as the stars headed into the screening for the long-awaited sequel to Cruise’s superstar-making 1986 blockbuster. 

Cruise was adamant it was worth waiting for cinemas to be back in full swing, and said he never considered releasing “Top Gun: Maverick” via a streaming platform. 

“I make movies for the big screen. Cinema is my love, my passion. I always go to movies when they come out. I’ll put my cap on and sit in the audience with everyone.” 

The main competition at the festival got going Wednesday with a movie from Russian dissident Kirill Serebrennikov, who has been forced into exile since the invasion of Ukraine. 

“No to war,” he said after the premiere.

The war has already been a major theme at the festival, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky making a surprise video appearance at the opening ceremony on Tuesday. 

There will be a special screening of “Mariupolis 2”, a documentary about the conflict by Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius, who was killed in Ukraine last month — reportedly by Russian forces.

– ‘Emotional wallop’ –

His 39 films as a lead actor have pulled in just shy of $8.5 billion (8 billion euros) worldwide, and Box Office Pro estimates “Top Gun: Maverick” could add as much as $390 million in the United States alone.

The Cannes Film Festival continues to be a popular launchpad for big budget spectacles, with industry insiders noting that its new sponsor TikTok has added a new level of social media buzz this year. 

He is the only Hollywood star of that era to have maintained his box office power, even as he prepares to turn 60 this year. 

“This is someone that we haven’t seen on streaming platforms, TV series, or doing adverts…. He is someone who is devoted to cinema.”

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