Tom Cruise and ‘Dune’ Director Denis Villeneuve Have 1 Thing in Common

Tom Cruise is an established action movie star who set several box office records with Top Gun: Maverick. Denis Villeneuve built his reputation directing standout sci fi movies such as Blade Runner 2049, Arrival, and Dune. The New York-born Cruise and French-Canadian Villeneuve find movie success in different ways, but they share one thing in common.

Tom Cruise (left) at the Japan premiere of 'Top Gun: Maverick,' Denis Villeneuve attends the 'Dune' premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The superstar Cruise and director Villeneuve have one thing in common when it comes to the films they make.
(l-r) ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ star Tom Cruise; ‘Dune’ director Denis Villeneuve | Ken Ishii/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures; Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Tom Cruise pushed back on an early streaming release and hit new heights with ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Paramount wanted a sequel immediately, but fans waited 35 years to get the follow-up to Top Gun. The wait was worth it. 

It hit theaters to rave reviews from critics and fans alike, and theater owners have Cruise to thank for Maverick being a big-screen exclusive. There was never a prospect of Maverick hitting Paramount+ on release day, partly because Cruise used his clout to shoot down the idea. Maverick will fly over to streaming at some point, but months after its release, even Paramount executives don’t know when that will be.

In the meantime, Top Gun: Maverick will continue to add to its gross, cement itself as Cruise’s most profitable movie, and move up the all-time box office rankings. 

What do Cruise and ‘Dune’ director Denis Villeneuve have in common? They want audiences to see movies in theaters

Cruise didn’t want Top Gun: Maverick anywhere on streaming while it was in theaters and got his way. Villeneuve felt the same way about Dune, but Warner Bros. plowed ahead with a streaming release.

The director understood the pressure the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic placed on the film industry, but he had a scathing response to the simultaneous streaming/theater release for Dune (per The Wrap):

“The way it happened, I’m still not happy. Frankly, to watch ‘Dune’ on a television, the best way I can compare it is to drive a speedboat in your bathtub. For me, it’s ridiculous. It’s a movie that has been made as a tribute to the big-screen experience.”

Director Denis Villeneuve on why he hated seeing Dune on streaming platforms

Villeneuve hated seeing Dune on the small screen, but the dual release didn’t hurt the bottom line. Dune raced to the top of the list of Villeneuve’s highest-grossing movies and got fans excited for the 2023’s Dune: Part Two. Cruise and Villeneuve share a common trait — they want their movies in theaters only — but only Cruise got his way with his latest blockbuster.

Will ‘Dune’ be a trilogy with Villeneuve directing?

RELATED: ‘Dune: Part Two’ Cast: Fans React to Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam IV 

Despite Warner Bros. making the drastic decision to cancel Batgirl — which created a long-term problemDune: Part Two will happen. Villeneuve started shooting in late July 2022 to prepare for a November 2023 release (per IMDb). 

Warner’s didn’t greenlight a sequel at the same time it said yes to Dune, but Villeneuve operated with the idea it would be a two-part film. 

It seems unlikely that Villeneuve’s Dune will become a trilogy, but there is plenty of source material to keep the series going. Frank Herbert wrote six Dune novels, and the extended universe has expanded even more. We’ll probably know more about the future of Dune movies after Part Two hits theaters.

Will we see Cruise in ‘Top Gun: 3’?

Despite Maverick’s supersonic success, we will never see a Top Gun 3.  

Cruise’s busy schedule makes it harder to work a third movie into his schedule. If Top Gun 3 doesn’t happen quickly, Cruise would be in his mid-60s and less able to pull off the Naval aviator role, let alone the intense filming. 

A lawsuit against Paramount could also slow down the Hollywood machinery. Plus, Maverick hit all the right notes. Rotten Tomatoes scores it 96% fresh. Recreating the magic that made the movie a smash hit would be nearly impossible. A disappointing threequel would sully Maverick’s sterling reputation.

Whether or not Dune: Part 3 or Top Gun 3 ever happen, Cruise and Villeneuve seem to have some common ground about the importance of movies playing in theaters.

For more on the entertainment world and exclusive interviews, subscribe toShowbiz Cheat Sheet’s YouTube channel.

RELATED: Oscars 2022: ‘Dune’ Director Denis Villeneuve Is a Massive Snub in the Best Director Category