Dubai: It's ‘Mission Accepted' for the Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) as the world's media descended on the city for the launch of arguably the biggest film of the year.
More than 1,100 industry professionals and hundreds of international journalists, photographers, television crews and presenters will be fighting for spots on the busiest red carpet Diff has ever experienced tonight when Tom Cruise and his fellow cast members Paula Patton, Simon Pegg and Anil Kapoor, along with director Brad Bird and producer Bryan Burk, launch Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. A large proportion of the film was shot in Dubai, and more specifically at the Burj Khalifa — the world's tallest building.
And while fan screenings, red carpets and promotional pictures have been captured over the past week in Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney and Mumbai on the film's international publicity tour, the official world premiere of the movie takes place in Dubai tonight. Cruise will be on the red carpet from 5pm — an hour ahead of the other stars — just to spend time with fans.
Gulf News caught up with the stars when they landed in the UAE yesterday. Although Cruise was unavailable until a press conference which takes place this morning, his fellow cast members had only good things to say about Hollywood's leading man.
Raising the bar
"He's an inspiration," said a bubbly Patton. "He is the most hard-working man I've ever met. Just when you think you are tired, there's Tom," she added throwing her hands in the air. "Working out. There's a reason he's one of the greatest actors of all time."
On his death-defying stunts hanging from the Burj Khalifa, actor Simon Pegg — who is returning for a second stint with Cruise in the franchise — said it was something Cruise had been building up to.
"He keeps raising the bar and then leaping over it," said Pegg from under a green cap. "He has high standards and it raises everyone's game. These were stunts he has been building up to. I don't know how you can top it, but he'll find a way."
Indian actor Anil Kapoor, of Slumdog Millionaire fame, was grateful to Cruise for reasons other than the fourth instalment in the MI franchise.
"Tom has restored a colour in India since his visit last week," he said.
"He brought excitement, energy and reminded us all the Taj Mahal is there," he said.
"You can become complacent when things are on your doorstep and seeing someone like Tom Cruise in utter awe of such a place jogs your memory about how lucky you are."
Other films using the festival as a launch pad in the region include The Muppets, The Descendants and My Week With Marilyn, all of which have gala screenings.
A total of 171 films from 56 nations, as well as a host of A-list celebrities, including Shah Rukh Khan, Owen Wilson and regional stars Yousra and Lebleba, will attend.
The eighth edition of Diff runs until December 14. For more information visit www.dubaifilmfest.com