Tom Cruise wants movies to be approachable to as wide of an audience as possible, something his box office numbers reflect.
It might be safe to say that, of the biggest stars in Hollywood, nobody cares more about the movie industry than Tom Cruise. And, really, without his dedication to put butts in seats (whether it’s his name on the marquee or not), one wonders how different the cinema would be. According to a number of his Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One collaborators, quite.
In a new piece published by The Times, director Christopher McQuarrie recalled first meeting with Tom Cruise, in which he told the director, “I make mass entertainment.” He added, “There is an outsized importance placed on Oscars…Films that not many people are going to see. A wedge has been driven into the industry. Are you an artist or an entertainer? Tom doesn’t see them as mutually exclusive.”
Co-star Hayley Atwell, who plays Grace in Dead Reckoning, agreed, saying Cruise’s mission – which is far from impossible – is to reward moviegoers. “He doesn’t want to make movies now to punish an audience…He doesn’t want films with the message that if you do not understand this you’re not smart.” In one instance, Tom Cruise had a line changed in the movie because he worried the audience wouldn’t understand it.
McQuarrie also relayed a situation in which Tom Cruise had the Valkyrie script tweaked so it would be more appealing to a wider audience at the movies. This apparently worked, as the Brian Singer-directed movie – in which Cruise engaged in a plot to assassinate Hitler – grossed $200+ million worldwide.
But lest one thinks that Tom Cruise is coming off as someone who thinks the general movie fan is a dingbat (you’re not a dingbat, are you?), co-star Simon Pegg points out that his normalcy is what makes him relatable to audiences. “I’ve been able to hack my way through all the bizarre mythology that surrounds him…On one side he’s Tom Cruise — this enigmatic film star everyone wants to know about. And on the other he’s just a guy. I like being normal with him.”
That Tom Cruise wants movies to be experienced by the masses is no surprise. This is a guy who deeply respects the industry and did more than most individuals to keep it thriving while the pandemic shut down countless productions – something Cruise knew was a serious threat. And fans have continued to rally, helping last year’s Top Gun: Maverick take in $1.5 billion worldwide – love that he gave right back:
What are your thoughts on Tom Cruise’s comments regarding “mass entertainment” at the movies? Are you planning on seeing Dead Reckoning when it hits screens?