UPDATED: Tom Cruise was lauded with a surprise Palme d’Or tonight at the Top Gun: Maverick premiere capping off a big day for the 3x Oscar nominee at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film received a five-minute standing ovation from the crowd.

Prior to receiving the Palme, which wasn’t expected, he was given a tribute reel before the film played. As a prelude, French fighter jets took the sky streaming blue, white and red smoke. The squadron did a second pass before the Top Gun: Maverick star took the stage at the Palais.

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“An incredible evening and an incredible time,” said Cruise to the crowd, “Just to see everyone’s faces. It’s been 36 years since Top Gun and we had to hold this for two years because of the pandemic.”

“Thank you Paramount people, this was a dream to be here with you,” said the blockbuster actor, “I’m going to take this all in and I’m never going to forget this evening.”

“Thank you for being here. We’re here for you. I make these movies for all of you. I’m of you in ever meeting, in every moment,” he continued, “Especially in Cannes, you love movies.”

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Hours before tonight’s Cannes premiere, Tom Cruise sat down for a one-on-one interview preceding his Cannes tribute at the Salle Debussey. He expressed his devotion to making movies for the big screen and how working on film sets from the onset with Taps at the age of 18,was his film school. He also emphasized that Top Gun: Maverick heading to streaming was never an option while movie theaters were closed during the pandemic.

Top Gun: Maverick‘s next stop is in London for a Royal Screening tomorrow. It should come as no surprise if Top Gun: Maverick opens to Cruise’s biggest weekend ever, surpassing the $169.3M WW start of The Mummy. 

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