While he was greeted with the hero’s welcome everywhere he went for Top Gun: Maverick’s big role in reviving the theatrical marketplace following the Covid pandemic, Tom Cruise is not hanging around for the Oscars tonight.
He’s gone back to work — you will soon be seeing stuff from him shooting on a carrier in Sicily and he’s now back in the UK — and if Top Gun manages to pull off an upset, Jerry Bruckheimer will have to go up and take the bows, even though Cruise is one of the producers.
We can also confirm our sister publication Variety’s scoop that Lady Gaga will be on hand to sing Hold My Hand, the Oscar nominated song from the movie. She had originally been expected to skip the proceedings — some wondered how she could possibly top her A Star is Born duet with Bradley Cooper a couple years ago — and the producers said they planned to use clips from the film as the song played. But she will grace the Oscars. It might be too late to help the ratings, but certainly fills out the Oscarcast with a little more star power. And maybe Cruise will do a video intro.
Even though the talk of Hollywood this week is whether all the post-pandemic momentum will screech to a halt because of a writer’s strike — and clearly a reckoning needs to be had over payday and residual changes largely due to streaming — Cruise is poised to give the box office a second jolt with the July 14 release of Mission: Impossible —Dead Reckoning Part One. He and director Christopher McQuarrie are racing to finish part two of that huge saga, with Paramount already dating the film for June 28, 2024.
Who has time for awards season frivolities? There had been rumors that Cruise might intro the Best Actress category and present that award, but this was shot down last week. Two other recent times that happened: Heath Ledger, who died before he won his Oscar, had Robin Williams step in. And when Casey Affleck stepped out because of controversy following his Manchester By The Sea win, Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster gave out the award.
Will Smith, last year’s winner, surely won’t be dealing out any awards after his decade ban for last year’s slap of Chris Rock. We are still trying to figure out who’s giving the award, but we’ve heard keep an eye on Halle Berry and Tom Hanks. Pure speculation, but what an elegant pairing of Oscar winners. Stay tuned.
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