Top Gun: Maverick brought Tom Cruise to Cannes for the first time in 30 years. The last movie to do so, interestingly enough, was Far And Away, co-starring Tom’s second wife, Nicole Kidman. At the 2022 edition of the festival, the showcasing of that film didn’t include any moments where Kidman was onscreen, and according to Variety, that was a pattern as the festival paid tribute to Tom’s wide-ranging career.
Yup, Tom’s gonna Tom Cruise as much as possible, and more power to him, sure, while pushing back against questions about his stunt obsession, but the Kidman omission — she was virtually erased from all three blockbuster movies in which they appeared together — seems difficult to overlook. As Variety describes things, the Days of Thunder portion of Tom’s career montage only included him driving a car. With Far and Away, Tom was shown atop a horse. And you’d never know that Kidman was splashed across marquees for Eyes Wide Shut from how that film was highlighted:
And, of course, “Eyes Wide Shut” made the grade, it being the final film from auteur-iest of auteurs Stanley Kubrick (the French love their filmmakers!). That erotic drama featured Cruise and Kidman as a married couple whose relationship is challenged by the wife’s admission that she contemplated having an affair. But Cannes didn’t go with anything from the pair’s wrenching confessional moments. Instead, Cruise is glimpsed removing a mask.
It’s a little odd, yes, to completely erase Kidman’s existence, especially in that third (very notorious) movie where the pair was considered co-stars with the same level of star attraction. Thankfully, though, Tom Cruise did not erase Val Kilmer’s Iceman from Top Gun: Maverick (in fact, he insisted that Val appear in the sequel). That would have been several steps too far.
Top Gun: Maverick premieres on May 24.