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Report: Tom Cruise Heads Back to Sea to Film His Next Blockbuster

George H.W. Bush under way in the Adriatic
USS George H.W. Bush under way in the Adriatic, March 5, 2023 (USN)

Published Mar 7, 2023 6:45 PM by The Maritime Executive

Tom Cruise has a long working relationship with the U.S. Navy - so long that most senior officers were children when Cruise first put naval aviation in the limelight in the original "Top Gun." Though the F-14 Tomcats featured in that film have all retired, along with the carrier, USS Enterprise, Cruise is still making blockbuster hits with the service's help. The latest - "Top Gun: Maverick" - was shot aboard two Navy carriers in San Diego, and its aerial sequences were flown by Navy pilots in Navy fighters.

Knowing good publicity when they see it, the Navy's leaders have helped Cruise to return to sea once more to shoot the next - and possibly last - installment of his Mission Impossible franchise, "Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two."

The details of major Hollywood productions are usually kept under wraps until the release, but news of Cruise's latest U.S. Navy collaboration reached the press anyways. An Italian film-promotion official confirmed to Variety that Cruise flew into the port of Bari, Italy on February 25 in order to join a carrier in the Adriatic.

The official speculated that the flattop might be USS George H.W. Bush, the only American carrier currently operating in Europe. USNI's fleet tracker suggests that George H.W. Bush is currently under way in the southern Adriatic with Carrier Strike Group 1, comprised of cruiser USS Leyte Gulf and the destroyers USS Delbert D. Black, Truxtun, Farragut and Nitze.

According to Variety, Cruise boarded a private helicopter on February 26 in order to fly out to the carrier, which was located somewhere between Italy and Croatia. He was expected to complete the shoot within the span of a week. 

The administration of the Apulia region knew about the Navy's arrangement with Cruise because the local government helped arrange his helicopter flight. "We are proud that [the] Apulia [region] has been chosen as the operational base for this rather complex shoot," said the official, Apulia film commissioner Antonio Parente. 

He did not mention whether Cruise had piloted his own helicopter, as he famously did in the previous installment of "Mission Impossible."