Tom Cruise is a Hollywood legend, having starred in blockbuster hits like Top Gun, Mission: Impossible, and Jerry Maguire. Cruise has become well-known for his acting skills and his daring stunts in his films, such as climbing the world’s tallest building in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol and hanging off the side of an airplane in Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.
Tom Cruise’s greatest stunt, however, may not involve bungee jumping or building climbing. But his work to keep movie theaters open during the COVID-19 pandemic is what made him famous.
Mission: Impossible — Saving The Cinemas
Movie theaters were among the many businesses that had to close as the pandemic spread worldwide. Many filming schedules were pushed back or scrapped altogether. However, as someone who has worked in the film industry for over 35 years, Tom Cruise understood the significance of theaters.
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In an interview with Empire magazine, he declared his cinematic devotion and worked on a plan of action to make movies happen despite the pandemic’s peak.
“I told the studio and I told the industry, ‘We’re going back. We’re going to get everyone back to work. We’re going to start shooting in the summer. And we’re going to figure out how to do it safely.’”
Enter Christopher Nolan, the man behind mind-bending hits like Inception and Interstellar. Nolan and Tom Cruise advocated for the cinematic experience and joined forces to save the movie theater. Nolan’s highly anticipated film Tenet was scheduled for a worldwide summer 2020 release.
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Cruise, promoting Tenet in London, unexpectedly appeared at a theater playing the movie and tweeted about it. Tom Cruise tweeted alongside a video of him driving past Buckingham Palace captioned “Big Movie. Big Screen. Loved It.”
Big Movie. Big Screen. Loved it. pic.twitter.com/DrAY5tRg5P
— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) August 25, 2020
The tweet was meant to show solidarity with struggling theaters and highlight the value of going to the theater.
Braving the Pandemic with Christopher Nolan
Due to the ongoing pandemic, many theaters were closed, negatively affecting Tenet’s box office performance. Tom Cruise and Nolan’s efforts were not lost on anyone, and their continued support of theaters kept the discussion about the value of going to the movies alive even after this setback.
But Cruise’s fight to save the movie was far from over. The release date of his highly anticipated film Top Gun: Maverick, originally set for July 2020, was pushed back due to the pandemic. In Norway, the actor reportedly had hundreds of crew members housed on two cruise ships at his expense.
The actor reportedly spent £500,000 renting cruise ships to avoid further delays in filming his latest movie. At the same time, and unfortunately, Tenet’s box office performance was lackluster as many theaters remained closed during its initial release.
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Despite this setback, Tom Cruise and Nolan’s efforts did not go unnoticed, and their support of theaters helped keep the conversation going. Fast forward to 2023, theatre experiences have never been better. Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick was released on 27 May 2022, and the highly anticipated Mission: Impossible 7 is slated for a 2023 summer release.
Cruise’s efforts to save movie theaters during the pandemic may not have involved daredevil stunts or action sequences, but that doesn’t make them any less impressive. Tom Cruise has shown his dedication to the film industry and the value of going to the theater by teaming up with Nolan and showing support for theaters.