Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Tom Cruise, Elvis Presley Films Will Screen at Cannes Film Festival Out of Competition for PR Buzz


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.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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