WATCH: Tom Cruise thanks 'Top Gun: Maverick' fans during insane skydive stunt


Tom Cruise's aerial love letter caps off a year of dizzying success for 'Top Gun: Maverick', which generated US$1.5bil (RM6.6mil) at the global box office. Photo: Handout

Every star loves the adoring public, but Tom Cruise's gratitude for his fans is truly sky-high.

In a video shared by Paramount Pictures on Sunday (Dec 18), the Top Gun: Maverick star took a break from filming the latest instalments in the Mission: Impossible franchise to thank moviegoers for their support of Maverick, which was released in May.

But instead of stepping away from a glitzy studio set to record his message, the 60-year-old actor was sitting inside of a helicopter while preparing for an airborne shot with director Christopher McQuarrie.

"Hey everyone. Here we are over stunning South Africa, and we're filming Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning parts one and two," Cruise said. "I didn't want the year to end without thanking you all for coming out to the theatres and thank you for supporting Top Gun: Maverick."

After being interrupted by McQuarrie, who told Cruise that "we've got to get this shot," Cruise gracefully jumped out of the helicopter.

"Where was I?" Cruise said, his arms outstretched in the air. "Thank you for supporting Top Gun: Maverick and (as) always, thank you for allowing us to entertain you. It truly is the honour of a lifetime."

He continued: "I'm running out of altitude, so I've got to get back to work. We've got to get this shot. You have a very safe and happy holiday. We'll see you at the movies."

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part Two are slated for release on July 14, 2023, and June 28, 2024, respectively, according to IMDB. Aside from Cruise, the films are set to feature performances by Vanessa Kirby, Cary Elwes and Hayley Atwell.

Cruise's aerial love letter caps off a year of dizzying success for Top Gun: Maverick, which generated US$1.5bil (RM6.6mil) at the global box office. Earlier this month, the film was named the best film of the year by the National Board of Review.

Though the National Board of Review, a long-running organisation comprised of film enthusiasts and academics, has no overlap or correlation to other awards bodies, the win adds to the awards-season tailwinds for Maverick as not just a billion-dollar worldwide smash but a legitimate Academy Awards contender.

The Producers Guild Awards also recently announced that Cruise will receive its David O. Selznick Achievement Award.

USA Today's film critic Brian Truitt also sang Maverick's praises as one of the best films of 2022, lauding Cruise for pulling off the "astounding magic trick (of) honchoing a long-awaited revisit" to the 1986 action classic Top Gun, which Cruise also starred in.

"Maverick succeeds by proudly owning everything Top Gun is and ever was, a macho romp that gloriously soars into the Danger Zone and tugs at that rebellious streak in all of us," Truitt wrote. – USA Today/Tribune News Service

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