Steven Spielberg Tells Tom Cruise He “Saved Hollywood’s Ass” With ‘Top Gun: Maverick’
(Photo by Willy Sanjun/Invision/AP)
— Updated on 13 July 2023

Steven Spielberg Tells Tom Cruise He “Saved Hollywood’s Ass” With ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

— Updated on 13 July 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Steven Spielberg was overheard praising Tom Cruise at the Academy Awards nominees luncheon hosted earlier this week.

In a now-viral clip captured by fellow Oscar nominee Kartiki Gonsalves (Who Can Say No To Baby Elephants!), the director practically synonymous with modern filmmaking was overheard telling his Minority Report and War of the Worlds leading man the following:

“You saved Hollywood’s ass. And you might have saved theatrical distribution. Seriously. [Top Gun: Maverick might have saved the entire theatrical industry.”

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Cruise can then be seen blushing and shaking his head modestly, signature grin plastered across his face.

Top Gun: Maverick represented the second film to gross over US$1 billion at the post-pandemic global box office following Spider-Man: No Way Home; becoming the 11th highest-grossing movie in history with an impressive US$1.48 billion (unadjusted for inflation). And while No Way Home raked in a little more, unlike the Marvel franchise instalment which exploited three generations of cinematic nostalgia, Maverick was by no means a safe bet. Especially considering the staggering investment, practical hurdles, and mounting Cruise fatigue involved.

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Last month, during his most recent interview with Deadline, Steven Spielberg advocated for the inclusion of blockbusters such as Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water in the Academy Awards’ Best Picture category.

“I’m really encouraged by that. It came late for the film that should have been nominated a number of years ago, Christopher Nolan’s, The Dark Knight,” said Steven Spielberg.

“That movie would have definitely garnered a Best Picture Nomination today, so having these two blockbusters solidly presented on the Top 10 list is something we should all be celebrating.”

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Instead, Nolan’s The Dark Knight was restricted to the Best Supporting Actor, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects categories; taking home a gilded statuette for Best Supporting Actor (the late Heath Ledger) and Best Sound Editing (Richard King).

At the forthcoming 95th Academy Awards, Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical The Fabelmans is in the running for Best Picture alongside Top Gun: Maverick, in addition to having received a nod for Best Directing and Best Writing – Original Screenplay. Tom Cruise, on the other hand, has only received a producing nomination.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]