Top Gun: Maverick–Touch Down in Cannes With Fighter Jets, Surprise Palme d’Or

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Touch Down in Cannes With Fighter Jets, Surprise Palme d’Or

The superstar was treated to a hero’s welcome with eight fighter jets (and smoke dyed to match the colors of the French flag) and a surprise Palme d’Or.


The Cannes Film Fest kicked into overdrive on Wednesday as Tom Cruise and his Top Gun: Maverick team touched down at the Palais for high-octane premiere that included 8 fighter jets zooming above the event, expelling smoke in red and blue to match the colors of the French flag.

The actor was no \doubt the biggest draw of Cannes 2022 long before he hit the Croisette, where Top Gun: Maverick is getting splashy promotion by Paramount ahead of its global rollout on May 25.

But even by the festival’s own standards, Cruise received the sort of rapturous reception that only befits one of Hollywood’s most successful and globally renowned stars.


Sharon Stone is seen on stage during the amfAR Cannes Gala 2021 at Villa Eilenroc on July 16, 2021 in Cap d'Antibes, France.

Having taken part in a career retrospective earlier in the day — a “MasterClass Conversation” with French journalist Didier Allouch in the 1,000-seat Debussy Theatre — Cruise was given another fest treat by way of a tribute, led by Thierry Fremaux in honor of his long-running career. Fremaux delivered remarks in French, introduced a 13-minute clips reel that showcased every entry on his filmography.

In a rare showing, Cruise accepted the love, hugged Fremaux (who encouraged the audience to put down their phones and put their hands together) and took the microphone to share remarks ahead of the screening.

He then invited all the filmmakers in attendance to stand and be recognized followed by shouting out his collaborators at Paramount. “They all worked so hard to bring this to the big screen and it’s a dream to be here,” Cruise said. “I’m never going to forget this evening.”

Elle Fanning, a L’Oreal ambassador and frequent Cannes attendee, was seated in the Palais and received special shout-out from Cruise. He recalled meeting her while working with her sister, Dakota, on the 2005 blockbuster War of the Worlds.

He then turned his attention back to the festival and his love for cinema. “Thank you for this time,” he said. “I make these movies for all of you.”

For what he’s done for movies, Fremaux then offered a special surprise as he announced that the festival was presenting Cruise with a Palme d’Or. Cruise, speechless, accepted with a “Wow,” as the audience stood up for another standing ovation, one of the only times in recent memory that actor has received multiple standing ovations prior to the film hitting the screen.

Cruise arrived at the Cannes red carpet just before 7 p.m. and spent a healthy 10 minutes cruising up and down the street to greet fans, some of whom had been waiting for hours under the blazing Côte d’Azur sun for the movie star to emerge.

He made it worth their while by signing autographs and DVDs and posing for selfies.

As seen on the Palais big-screen, he had to be pulled away from the crush of admirers to make his way in front of photographers and pose alongside director Joseph Kosinski, and blockbuster producer Jerry Bruckheimer. They were joined by fellow Top Gun: Maverick stars Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jon Hamm (who straightened Cruise’s bow tie on the carpet), Glen Powell, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, Greg Tarzan Davis, Lewis Pullman and others.

Top Gun: Maverick has been winning rave reviews from critics since it made its world premiere earlier this month in San Diego atop the retired aircraft carrier USS Midway.

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Joseph Kosinski, Jerry Bruckheimer, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Glen Powell, Jay Ellis, Greg Tarzan Davis, Lewis Pullman and Jon Hamm attend the screening of “Top Gun: Maverick” during the 75th Cannes Fest at Palais, May 18, 2022.