You can’t do better to launch a summer film than have a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
With Cannes returning to mid- to-late May, the time is right to launch at least two big Hollywood films out of competition.
Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick” and Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” with Tom Hanks as Colonel Parker will take over the Croisette, cause a huge celebrity uproar and drive the red carpet crowd crazy.
(I wish I could be there this year but I have two college graduations in May and so, c’est la vie, what can you do?)
Neither film is a slam dunk. With Elvis, the kid playing him is new, the story has been told a lot, and Hanks’s accent seems weird in the trailer. Will it work? Who knows? But the Cannes premiere audience will love it, give it a 15 minute standing ovation, and the studio will pray that the good vibes will spread quickly before any negativity can take root.
With Tom Cruise, there are rumors that Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer took the movie away from director Joseph Kosinski and remade it. Hence the many delays in release. When this gang hits Cannes, Cruise will glad hand all the fans falling over the barriers to meet him. He’ll wear his little blue suit and say patriotic things. Val Kilmer will no doubt be on hand, and he’s now a popular, sympathetic player in this drama. Thus, “Maverick” will get a huge send off, Cruise will proceed to do lots of international press — they don’t question him about anything tough– and the studio will hold its breath hoping for great things.
In the case of “Maverick,” maybe they’ll do a stunt where Cruise lands plane on the roof of the Hotel Carlton. With Elvis, maybe Paramount will send a hundred Elvis impersonators down the Croisette singing “Don’t Be Cruel.”
In each instance, let’s hope so. Viva Cannes! Viva Hollywood! Neither of these pictures will win the Palme D’Or, and no one cares.