It has been rumored for months that Cannes head Thierry Frémaux wanted Cruise and his eagerly anticipated Paramount sequel to be part of the Croisette proceedings this year. Deadline can reveal that the film will premiere May 18 in an Official Selection screening at Cannes. But it’s much more than that. Cruise will be in attendance at the Palais des festivals, and the evening will begin with a special tribute to the actor-producer and his illustrious film career. On the day of his tribute, Cruise will also be in conversation with journalist Didier Allouch, followed by the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick.
This tribute comes 30 years to the day after Cruise attended the closing ceremony of the 45th edition of Cannes for Ron Howard’s Far and Away on May 18, 1992. That evening, he presented the Palme d’Or to Billie August’s Best Intentions.
A decade ago, I interviewed Cruise for Playboy Magazine, and was fascinated by the genesis of his tireless international promotion of his films. Cruise told me that when he started landing leads, he would press the studios to send him overseas to as many countries as possible to do press. At the time, studios were focused on domestic returns and they were reluctant to spend the money. Cruise said that his motivation was a simple desire to see the places he had observed in the movies he grew up watching. When he was a kid his family didn’t have the money to travel, and so he spared some time in those later press tours to see the world. His promotional strategy became a playbook for stars who wanted to build themselves into global stars.
Paramount Pictures will release Top Gun: Maverick on May 25 in France and May 27 in the U.S. The Cannes lineup has been scheduled to be announced in full on April 14.
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