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David Cronenberg Sheds New Light On Why He Didn't Direct This Tom Cruise Hit

David Cronenberg is undeniably a key figure in the entertainment world, whether he's working in front of the camera or behind it. Getting his start as a director in the mid-1960s — around a decade before he'd make his professional acting debut –, he has since gone on to helm such revered and visceral productions as "Shivers" and "The Fly," among others. Armed with his unique creative vision and a talented cast and crew, Cronenberg is about to unveil his latest project to the world: "Crimes of the Future," a film he fully expects some viewers to walk out of.

As Cronenberg's first horror outing since "eXistenZ," the director hasn't appeared to hold back his signature affinity for body horror in "Crimes of the Future." The movie stars Viggo Mortensen as Saul Tenser, who has the ability to grow new organs inside of his own body. His partner, Caprice (Léa Seydoux), aids him in locating and removing these organs, which they've turned into a form of live performance. It's intense, graphic, and more than a little macabre, making it all the more remarkable that Hollywood has offered Cronenberg so many high-profile blockbusters over the years.

In fact, one of the titles that came David Cronenberg's way decades ago eventually earned its place as one of Tom Cruise's biggest hits. Here's why Cronenberg ultimately turned it down.

Cronenberg didn't have a vested interest in Top Gun

As the 1980s wore on, David Cronenberg continued to make a name for himself as a director. The decade would add such films as "The Fly" and "Dead Ringers" to his filmography, with a handful purposely slipping through his fingers. As he told MTV in September of 2007 (via The Playlist), not only did he pass on "Flashdance" and "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi," but he also let "Top Gun" go too. According to Cronenberg himself, he made that decision out of his own level of investment in the movie.

"'Top Gun' was about American military stuff. It's true that I like machines, I like cars, I like airplanes. But it just wasn't something I was interested in to direct," Cronenberg elaborated to Variety in May of 2022, explaining that directing a film is a surprisingly time-consuming process, all for a two-hour final product. This led Paramount Pictures to seek out the late Tony Scott to sit in the director's chair, who signed the dotted line to do so. Suffice to say, doing so etched his name in the history books in short order.

On paper, it would've been interesting to see David Cronenberg's approach to directing "Top Gun," but then again, if he wasn't compelled by it to begin with, who knows how it would've turned out. Besides, Cronenberg's career is still going strong with June 3, 2022's "Crimes of the Future," and a Joseph Kosinski-directed "Top Gun" sequel — "Top Gun: Maverick" — is due out on May 24, so it stands to reason that everyone involved made the right call.