Top Gun: Maverick’s Jerry Bruckheimer Reacts To His First Oscar Nomination, And Tom Cruise’s Snub

 Tom Cruise as Maverick riding a motorcycle
Tom Cruise as Maverick riding a motorcycle

After nearly 48 years in the business, Jerry Bruckheimer finally got his first Oscar nomination. With over 100 producing credits to his name between movies and TV shows, the producer was ecstatic to be on the list of 2023’s Academy Award nominees. However, he also spoke to the snubs the movie received, specifically Tom Cruise being left out of the Best Actor race.

All in all, Top Gun: Maverick received six nominations including visual effects, sound, original song, film editing, adapted screenplay and Best Picture. It’s the Best Picture nomination that made Bruckheimer an Oscar nominee, because he produced the film, and he explained how excited he was to THR, saying:

I’ve been doing this a long time and it finally got around to me.

While this is the first Oscar Bruckheimer has been nominated for, he’s no stranger to awards shows. In the world of TV, he’s been nominated for 22 Emmys and won ten for being a producer on The Amazing Race.

However, in the world of film honestly a bit shocking that this is his first nomination from the Academy, considering he’s behind successful movies like Armageddon, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and the National Treasure films. While these aren’t necessarily what we’d consider Academy movies, the producer has put in a lot of work on a ton of widely known and loved projects, which is why it’s so surprising his first nomination came over five decades into his career. Although I must admit, it’s pretty dang cool that his first nod is for an amazing movie like Maverick.

Top Gun: Maverick has been a Best Picture contender since the beginning of the race, and to see it get recognized by The Academy is extremely exciting. Not only was it critically successful, the film also made loads of money at the box office, and helped bring people back to the movie theaters. Bruckheimer discussed the legacy sequel’s impact on audiences and now the Oscars, saying:

We brought an older audience back to theaters who hadn’t been going. And I think the Academy responded to that.

Audiences and The Academy certainly did respond to Top Gun: Maverick. While the film did get several nominations for its groundbreaking technical work, Joseph Kosinski and Tom Cruise were notably left out. Out of all this year’s Oscars snubs, leaving Cruise out of Best Actor and Kosinski out of Best Director was one of the massive shocks from the nominations. Bruckheimer commented on this topic, and the two men leading the film not getting recognized, saying:

They certainly deserve [to be nominated]. Tom willed this into existence. He’s the heartbeat of the movie.

The actor behind Maverick 100% willed this movie into existence, and had the patience to wait and make a near-perfect sequel. It’s shocking he was not recognized for his performance in Maverick as the titular character. One of the movie’s stars Glen Powell explained that Cruise deserved a nomination because of his layered performance as well as for wearing so many hats during the production including actor, coach and producer.

While I think he’s right, and the snubs are a bummer, Top Gun: Maverick still has a lot to celebrate. Between Bruckheimer’s first nomination and the five other awards the sequel is up for, it will be well-represented at the Academy Awards this year.

To see if Top Gun: Maverick flies to victory, be sure to tune into the Oscars on March 12 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET. While we wait for the ceremony you can watch the high-flying action movie with a Paramount+ subscription.