The pair are in the Oscar race for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and ‘Avatar: The Way of Water,’ respectively
Tom Cruise and James Cameron, two champions of the theatrical experience behind the biggest movies of 2022 skipped the 2023 Oscars.
“The two guys who insisted you go to the theater, didn’t go to the theater,” host Jimmy Kimmel quipped during his monologue.
Cruise has been deep in production on the eighth Mission: Impossible installment, which on Friday announced the addition of Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham to the cast. The actor is in the Oscars race for Top Gun: Maverick, with Cruise receiving a nomination as a producer in the best picture category, where he’s nominated alongside Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison and Jerry Bruckheimer. Cruise starred in the sequel, which grossed $1.43 billion.
Cameron, meanwhile, is nominated as a producer of Avatar: The Way of Water, the No. 3 highest-grossing movie of all time with $2.93 billion globally. He did not receive a best director nod for his work on the sequel. His producing partner and fellow nominee Jon Landau told The New York Times on the carpet that the absence was due to “personal reasons.”
Maverick is considered a dark horse candidate for best picture, but the feature was widely credited with helping get audiences back to theaters, with Steven Spielberg telling Cruise at the 2023 Academy Luncheon that he saved theaters.
Though Cruise was treated as royalty at that event as well as at the PGA Awards, he was mocked at the Golden Globes and the DGA Awards.
“I like to see people do well. I know that things don’t just happen. I know it’s not just luck. You have to create that luck. You have to will it into existence. I want you to know that I’m always rooting for you. I’m rooting for all of you,” Cruise said while accepting the David O. Selznick Achievement Award during the 2023 PGA Awards.
Top Gun: Maverick is nominated for six Oscars, including best song for Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand.” Cruise will return to theaters with Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning: Part One, which arrives in theaters July 14.
Avatar: The Way of Water earned four nominations. A sequel is due out Dec. 20, 2024.