Tom Cruise showed off just one of the many stunts he’s learned through the years as one of the highest paid action stars in Hollywood.
Ahead of “Top Gun: Maverick” making its way to Paramount+ streaming network, Cruise thanked fans for supporting the film in theaters, just as he intended with its long-anticipated debut earlier this year.
In true Cruise fashion, Tom went above and beyond with his message of gratitude, and slipped on a parachute and goggles for a solo freefall dive over the ocean.
“Maverick” became Paramount Pictures’ biggest hit having grossed a worldwide total of $1.488 billion. The Golden Globe-nominated film also marks Cruise’s personal best when it crossed the $800 million marker in June 2022.
“Hey everyone, Here we are over sunny South Africa,” Cruise said as he sat along the edge of the helicopter while wearing a parachute and gloves. “And we’re filming ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning’ parts one and two.”
He added, “I didn’t want the year to end without thanking you all for coming out to the theaters, and thank you for supporting “Top Gun: Maverick.”
As he caught his breath between words, Cruise introduced Christopher McQuarrie, the writer and director of “Dead Reckoning.”
“Listen we really gotta roll, we gotta get this shot,” McQuarrie told Cruise.
“Oh ya, we’re filming. We gotta get this shot. Are you coming?” Cruise asked McQuarrie.
“Not on your life. Good luck,” the director responded, to which Cruise said, “We’ll see you down there.”
Without hesitating, Tom casually jumped out of the plane and began free-falling through the sky.
“As always, thank you for allowing us to entertain you. It truly is the honor of a lifetime,” he said while launching toward the ground without a care in the world. “Very lucky.
“I’m running out of altitude, so I better get back to work. We gotta get this shot. You have a very safe and happy holiday. We’ll see you at the movies.”
Cruise revealed in May that “Top Gun: Maverick” would “never” make its theatrical debut on a streaming network despite years of setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Maverick” was initially supposed to be released in July 2019 through Paramount Pictures but was postponed in August 2018 “to allow the production to work out all the complex flight sequences,” according to Deadline.
When asked if he felt pressure to release the film in any capacity on a streaming network, Cruise assured the audience in excerpts published by The Hollywood Reporter, “That was not going to happen ever. That was never going to happen.”
He talked about insisting on performing his own stunts despite the obvious safety risks at hand: “No one asked Gene Kelly, ‘Why do you dance? Why do you do your own dancing?'”
Cruise first starred as Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a young naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, in 1986. He worked with Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins and Anthony Edwards.