‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Star Tom Cruise Refused to Allow Sequel to Premiere on Streaming Platforms

by Suzanne Halliburton

Tom Cruise made a promise to theater owners — he wasn’t going to allow his blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick to hit streaming services for quite awhile.

Cruise elaborated on that promise during a Q&A this week with media covering the Cannes Film Festival in southern France.

Allowing Top Gun: Maverick to go early to streaming “never was going to happen, ever” Tom Cruise said. “I make movies for the big screen.”

A movie as big and glorious as Top Gun: Maverick just wouldn’t translate to the living room Roku-powered TV.

Cruise also said: “I’ve spent a lot of time with theater owners. The people that serve the popcorn, the ones who make this (movie experience) happen.” Cruise said he called several owners during the height of the pandemic and told them, “Please, I know what you’re going through. Just know we are making ‘Mission: Impossible’ and ‘Top Gun’ is coming out.”

Tom Cruise, seen here in Cannes, said he’s enjoying the spectacle of the multiple premieres of Top Gun: Maverick. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)

Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast have waited a while to show the world Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to the movie from 1986. It initially was scheduled for a 2019 release, then one in the summer of 2020. But why release a year-defining blockbuster when no one was coming to theaters? The buzz suggests this movie will be the most successful opening weekend for a Cruise-starring vehicle, ever. It likely will rival The Mummy and its opening weekend of $169.3 million in the worldwide box office.

The movie premieres in wide release next Friday, May 27, for the Memorial Day weekend viewing audiences. Cruise and the cast have been in Europe for special screenings this past week. The crowd at Cannes gave Cruise a standing ovation before the movie even started.

Prince William and Duchess Kate walked the red carpet with Tom Cruise at the London premiere for Top Gun: Maverick. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A day after Cannes, Cruise walked the red carpet with Prince William and Duchess Kate at the London premiere. As he waited for the royals to arrive, Cruise absorbed the spectacle of a glitzy premiere. The pandemic put these kind of parties on hold for the past two years. Earlier this month, the cast celebrated the domestic premiere on board the retired aircraft carrier the USS Midway. It doesn’t get any cooler than that.

“I love what I do,” Cruise told reporters, “I’ve always enjoyed it, and I’m enjoying it even more now. Particularly after the last couple of years, just to have an event like this is extraordinary.”

Cruise, of course, is reprising his role as Pete Mitchell. But you can call him Maverick. Back in 1986, Maverick was a brash top-gun pilot in training. When not in the cockpit, he’d grab his black leather jacket and race down the coast on his motorcycle. The need for speed fueled him. Then he lost all his confidence when Goose, his wingman, died in a freak accident as the two pilots ejected from the plane.

Top Gun: Maverick is a sequel to the original and not a remake. Miles Teller plays Rooster, Goose’s now grown son. Val Kilmer, who played Iceman in the original, also is back to reprise his role. These days, he’s an admiral. And Maverick now trains the elite pilots. We can’t wait to see it.