The upcoming superhero movie The lightning has been finished and locked for months now as it awaits its June 16th release. It has many fans inside the studio, including new DC co-head James Gunn, who called it “probably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.”
Now it has a fan outside the studio walls in actor, superstar and cinema patron Tom Cruise.
Sources say The Hollywood Reporter that Cruise has seen the film and loved it so much that he cold-called the film’s director, Andy Muschietti, to rave about it.
In late February, according to multiple sources, Cruise had a meeting with Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav, where the mogul mentioned how great the movie was. Cruise, curiosity piqued, then asked to see it. Zaslav granted the request and a copy of the film was sent to Cruise.
But as an insider says, this was no random message. A Warners employee brought the film to Cruise’s home in Beverly Hills and stayed until the actor finished watching The lightning. It is unclear what format Cruise watched it on, whether it was digital or film. When Cruise was done, the film was given back to the courier, who returned it to the studio.
Cruise was so taken by what he saw that he soon after reached out to Muschietti. It was a call out of the blue for the director. Cruise is said to have raved about the film and said something about it Flash is “everything you want in a movie” and “this is the kind of movie we need now,” according to insiders.
Cruise has emerged as a kind of cinema and theater booster in recent times. “You saved Hollywood’s ass, and you could have saved theatrical distribution,” Steven Spielberg told the actor in an exchange at the Academy Luncheon that was caught on video and went viral. He referenced Cruise’s efforts to keep Top Gun: Maverick in theaters and not streaming, helping to push that film to not only a $1.49 billion gross but also help spark a revival in theaters last spring and summer.
And in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the actor went viral with a video of him being driven through London to see Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. His enthusiastic review of “I loved it!” has become something of a meme among cinema lovers on social media.
Cruise has been handsomely rewarded for his commitment to that theatrical experience. His take cut off Maverick said to have brought him $100 million.
The lightning stars Ezra Miller as DC’s Scarlet Speedster. Miller leads a cast that includes Michael Keaton returning to the role of Batman. Ben Affleck is also set to return to the Batman role.
The film has had a very long journey to the screen with several director changes, although Miller remained on board over the years. In recent times, the actor has faced personal problems that threatened the production and release of the film.
But the long road is nearing its end. And Warners is so high on it that it will show it in full to theater owners at CinemaCon in April, nearly two months before its release date.