A conversation with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav led to a private screening for Cruise at his Beverly Hills home.
The upcoming superhero movie The Flash has been done and locked for several months now as it awaits its June 16 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: actor, superstar and cinema-saver Tom Cruise.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Cruise has seen the movie and loved it so much that he cold-called the movie’s director, Andy Muschietti, to rave about it.
In late February, according to several sources, Cruise had a meeting with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, during which the mogul mentioned how great the movie was. Cruise, curiosity piqued, then asked to see it. Zaslav acquiesced to the request, and a copy of the movie was sent over to Cruise.
But, as an insider says, this was no casual messengering. A Warners employee brought the movie to Cruise’s home in Beverly Hills and stayed until the actor finished watching The Flash. It is unclear on what format Cruise watched it, whether it was digital or film. When Cruise finished, the movie was given back to the messenger, who returned it to the studio.
Cruise was so taken by what he saw that soon after, he reached out to Muschietti. It was a call out of the blue for the director. Cruise is said to have raved about the movie, saying something to the effect that 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 might 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 was referring to Cruise’s push to keep Top Gun: Maverick in theaters and not on streaming and helping not only to push that movie to a $1.49 billion gross but also help spark a moviegoing revival 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 go 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 the theatrical experience. His cut of Maverick is said to have brought him $100 million.
The Flash stars Ezra Miller as DC’s Scarlet Speedster. Miller leads a cast that includes Michael Keaton returning in the role of Batman. Ben Affleck is also on tap to return to the Batman role.
The movie has had a very long road to the screen, with numerous director changes even as Miller remained on board over the years. In more recent times, Miller has faced personal issues that threatened the making and release of the movie.
But the long road is nearing its end. And Warners is so high on it that it will be screening the film in its entirety for theater owners at CinemaCon in April, nearly two months before the release date.