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- We can’t be the only ones wishing Tom Cruise would return to his role as Cole Trickle in a NASCAR-based one Days of Thunder 2.
- The original days of thunder was released on June 27, 1990. It drew a lot of media attention and attracted significant technical support from NASCAR and its teams.
- The film grossed $160 million, more than triple its film budget.
As expected, Top Gun: Maverick was one of the top films of the summer.
Tom Cruise returned to his role as an elite fighter jet pilot top gunthe original 1986 film. Both films were praised for their sensational action sequences.
This begs the question: could Cruise return to his role as Cole Trickle in NASCAR? top gun knockoff movie days of thunder? Could it be Days of Thunder 2 or maybe months of thunder?
Auto racing fans and many moviegoers across the country will be shouting “No!” almost immediately. for such a bold suggestion. Although visually impressive (the race cars looked cool, as did Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s love interest), days of thunder was widely panned for wild inaccuracies and ridiculously over-the-top on-track racing sequences.
The film was released on June 27, 1990. It attracted a lot of media attention and attracted significant technical support from NASCAR and its teams. NASCAR allowed in-race filming at several tracks, and the film, capitalizing on the no small pull of a superstar like Cruise, introduced the sport to people who might otherwise have had little interest.
Days of Thunder was essentially Top Gun with cars instead of planes. The plot was not a copy, but there were many similarities.
Cruise plays Trickle, a high-profile rookie driver who arrives to stir the pot in NASCAR with the help of veteran crew chief Harry Hogge, played with his usual skill by the great Robert Duvall.
Kidman plays a doctor who becomes involved with Cruise. It’s their first film together, and their on-screen romance turned into a real-life marriage (they later divorced).
The cast also included John C. Reilly, Randy Quaid and Michael Rooker, who played Cruise’s track rival Rowdy Burns. (This predates NASCAR’s modern day rowdy Kyle Busch).
When Cruise and his crew (the technicians wore Top Car hats, a nod to the Top Gun film) arrived in Darlington, South Carolina, to shoot parts of the film at Darlington Raceway, one of NASCAR’s legendary circuits filming, this part of the world was ablaze with Hollywood excitement for days. It was starstruck times 10.
Around Darlington and the neighboring town of Florence, residents were on the lookout for sightings of Cruise. He – or someone who looked very much like him – was seen many times if local accounts are to be believed.
A 9-year-old boy excitedly told a newspaper reporter that his mother had seen Cruise. “And he had his shirt off!” he said. He didn’t know if his mother had passed out at that moment.
Cruise (or at least someone who could have been Cruise) has been spotted: filling up his car, eating at a local soul food restaurant, cuddling with Kidman at a local park, cruising the square in Darlington.
He was also seen by law enforcement radar. He received a speeding ticket for driving 85 mph in a 55 mph zone.
Just the best car.
Despite its description by one critic as a “big, dumb testosterone factory,” the film lives on in NASCAR lore. Some of the race car liveries used in the film – such as Mello Yello, Hardee’s and Exxon – have been copied at actual “throwback” races over the years.
The film grossed $160 million, more than triple its film budget.
And it left fans with that classic line from Duvall (as Trickle’s crew chief): “And rubbing, son, is racing.”
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