Tom Cruise thanks Top Gun: Maverick fans – while jumping out of a helicopter during Mission: Impossible filming

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Paramount)

Tom Cruise has thanked fans for watching Top Gun: Maverick in theaters – while filming a death-defying stunt for the new Mission: Impossible movie.

Cruise, who is seen precariously perched out of a helicopter during the production of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two in South Africa, began his message by "thanking you all for coming out to the theater and thanking you for supporting Top: Gun Maverick."

Things, inevitably, go one step further as Cruise turns to his Mission: Impossible director Christopher McQuarrie before leaping out of the plane. While mid-air, he continued: "Thank you for allowing us to entertain you. It truly is the honor of a lifetime. [I’m] so lucky."

Top Gun: Maverick ended its epic run in theaters at 2022’s highest-grossing movie, taking $1.4 billion at the box office. The legacy sequel is all set to hit streaming on Paramount Plus from December 22.

But that’s not it for Cruise’s all-out assault on the box office. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is hitting cinemas on July 14, 2023. Part Two follows a year later on June 28, 2024, though it’s still unclear whether the two-parter will signal the end of the franchise.

"I've been working with Tom Cruise for 15 years and I cannot tell you the number of times I've been standing next to the man, witnessed an event and then read about it in the trades the next day and none of what they describe is actually true," director Christopher McQuarrie told the Light the Fuse podcast about suggestions that Dead Reckoning would Cruise’s time as IMF agent Ethan Hunt to an end.

For a taste of what else is coming your way in 2023, check out our guides to upcoming movies and movie release dates.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.