By Marc Gravelle
He, who is Tom Cruise
What’s the first movie that comes to mind when you think of Tom Cruise? Is it Top Gun, where he starred as cool flyboy Maverick? Maybe it’s Risky Business, the film that sent his career skyrocketing. It could very well be one of his entries in the wildly popular Mission: Impossible series, which has a sixth film in the works. He may be best known for his leading roles in drama, action and suspense movies, but Tom Cruise’s filmography includes some spectacular films set in the worlds of science fiction, fantasy and horror that simply can’t be overlooked.
Cruise’s first two fantasy roles came at moviegoers a decade apart from one another. Back in 1985, he played Jack in famed sci-fi director Ridley Scott’s cult classic Legend. The movie, which was released a year before Ridley’s brother Tony Scott directed Cruise in the massive hit Top Gun, also starred Mia Sara of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off fame and Tim Curry in an unforgettable role as the demonic Darkness. Leaping forward to 1994, Tom Cruise starred in the big screen adaptation of author Anne Rice’s popular Gothic horror novel Interview with the Vampire as the ghoulishly alluring Lestat de Lioncourt. Brad Pitt and a charmingly young Kirsten Dunst co-starred in the successful feature.
The beginning of the 21st century found Tom Cruise tackling more prominent roles in cinematic science fiction. Vanilla Sky, released in 2001, had Cruise starring as charismatic playboy David Aames. Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz are also along for the ride in this reality bending tale. For fans, the 2015 Blu-Ray release contains an alternate ending option. Tom Cruise’s next two sci-fi roles really cemented his validity as a science fiction star. Both directed by the legendary Steven Spielberg, Minority Report released in 2002, was a huge hit with cyberpunk elements and fine performances. Following up in 2005, his remake of War of the Worlds became Tom Cruise’s highest grossing film at the time of release.
After eight years away from the genre, Tom Cruise returned to science fiction once again in 2013’s Oblivion. The film was directed by Joseph Kosinski, who previously captured some truly beautiful visuals with Tron: Legacy. Although Oblivion’s plot isn’t especially well developed, the film is a must see for its stunning visuals and Cruise’s exceptional performance. 2014’s highly entertaining Edge of Tomorrow (a.k.a. Live. Die. Repeat.) showcased Cruise as Major William Cage, battling an alien invasion alongside the talented Emily Blunt with a timely twist.
Tom Cruise has been entertaining moviegoers for over 35 years, and when it comes sci-fi, fantasy and horror films he has all the right moves. With no signs of slowing down, Cruise will be entertaining old and new fans alike in Universal Studio’s The Mummy as Tyler Colt in 2017. The film is bound to be a huge event, as it’s set to launch the Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe. Among other recently announced projects are Luna Park and a sequel/prequel to Edge of Tomorrow, a pair of sci-fi movies that will reunite Cruise and director Doug Liman. I, for one, will be looking forward to these and many more Tom Cruise epics in the future.