suspicions of Russian money in the film’s budget

Tom Cruise, May 19, 2022, at the premiere of the film “Top Gun: Maverick” in London.

Andrew Eksner feels invested with a mission that some would describe as “impossible”: to bring down Paramount Pictures, one of the most powerful Hollywood studios, owned by the Paramount Global conglomerate. On the phone, this francophone describes himself as “a German Jew of French origin, married to a Polish woman, living in Los Angeles for twenty-five years”. A Hollywood, he says he worked in special effects for a long time, before specializing in promoting filming locations abroad. His career changed in 2019, when, armed with a letter of recommendation from the American ambassador in Warsaw, he tried to convince Paramount to transfer the filming of Mission : Impossible 7 by Poland. The company hood, Eksner takes the fly, building up little by little a file loading the American giant. His most compromising piece? The contract of more than 200 million dollars signed in the summer of 2020 by Paramount with the production company New Republic Pictures, covering ten films, including Top Gun : Maverick and the saga Mission : Impossiblewith Tom Cruise each time.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers “Top Gun: Maverick”: Tom Cruise or the revenge of the old cuckoo

In an article from Los Angeles Times published on September 28, 2020, Brian Oliver, the CEO of New Republic, says he has created his company in 2017 with the financial support of wealthy individuals, settled in Monaco and Spain. Andrew Eksner sees it as a transparent reference to the activities of the Russian Valerii An, number two of New Republic, at only 35 years old. “Until recently, his CV indicated that he had worked for nine months, in 2015 and 2016, as marketing director at AS Monaco, a football club owned by oligarch Dmitri Rybolovlevunderlines the whistleblower, screenshots in support. This reference has since been deleted.. »

Andrew Eksner draws our attention to photos of the same Valerii An participating, in September 2021, in a party organized on the sidelines of a charity tennis tournament, the Bosco Friends Open, in the company of the Moscow economic and political elite, including the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “Paramount Pictures is in big trouble, everyone on Wall Street knows Shari Redstone [la PDG de Paramount Global] wants to separateassure Andrew Eksner. There is a real risk that the Kremlin will seek to take control of it via Valerii An. Russian interference in American policy has been demonstrated. Why wouldn’t they attack the cinema? »

Palm of honor to Tom Cruise

At the beginning of April, through a series of e-mails massively sent by his assistant Lidia, Andrew Eksner alerted the media to the presence of“dirty russian money” in the budget of Top Gun: Maverick. “Following my messages, host Jimmy Kimmel canceled Tom Cruise’s appearance on his show”, welcomes Mr. Eksner. Sunday May 15, he reiterates his accusations, this time through the voice of his Polish lawyer, Piotr Lewandowski, who bombards the mailboxes of the directors of the Cannes Film Festival and its main partners. In vain: three days later, an honorary Palme d’or was awarded to Tom Cruise, on the sidelines of the out-of-competition screening of the film, while a squadron of the Patrouille de France flew over the Croisette, in honor of the American actor.

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