It was only a matter of time before the ‘Elevator’ kiss photoshoot made its way online. The scene—two Hollywood superstars, Pattinson and Cruise, locked in an intense embrace as they rode an elevator up to the terrace level of a building—was a viral sensation across social media channels in 2018. The photo, taken by Annie Leibovitz, was an instant classic, gaining more than a million likes on Instagram alone as the #ElevatorKiss hashtag went viral.

The shoot itself is a masterpiece, perfectly capturing the intensity of a romantic gesture while infusing it with flawless styling and art direction. It’s easy to see why the scene went viral; not only do we get to see two of Hollywood’s biggest superstars go at it like crazy, but we also get to see Pattinson deliver a passionate kiss to Cruise—the kind of kiss we’ve seen him deliver before in the film ‘Water for Elephants.’

Here’s how this cinematic kiss became a reality.

The Concept

Before we get to the photo shoot, let’s discuss the concept a bit. The movie ‘Elevator’ is about an actress (Emma) who, after a serious car accident, finds herself trapped in an elevator with a man she doesn’t know. They start a conversation and, before she realizes what’s happening, he’s plastered his lips against hers in an intense kiss. This is the scene that Cruise and Pattinson are tasked with recreating; they begin the rehearsal a few days before the shoot.

Cruise and Pattinson were originally supposed to share the screen in ‘The Eagle Huntress,’ a spinoff of ‘The Magnificent Seven.’ However, after the studio head saw the two leads locked in an on-set kiss, he decided they should share the limelight in this scene as well. The gesture was meant to be a surprise to audiences, with the camera only capturing their lips in the tight shot.

The Script

After seeing this kissing scene at the end of ‘The Eagle Huntress,’ studio heads at Universal Pictures decided it was time for a remake. The timing was perfect, as ‘Eagle’ was going to be released right after the Valentine’s Day holiday, giving audiences the perfect excuse to ask for a replay of this cinematic kiss. So, with that in mind, the studio set about remaking this iconic end scene from ‘The Magnificent Seven.’

Once again, it was up to director Jon Chu to bring this iconic on-screen moment to life. In order to do this, the studio brought on board some of Hollywood’s best writers, like Erin Cressida Wilson and Scott Neustadter, in addition to reuniting with former ‘Eagle’ scribe John Butters, who wrote the original script. The result is an instant classic, with audiences cheering and laughing as the leads get to know each other.

The Styling

This is where things get really exciting. The pair locked in an on-screen kiss is one thing, but when you add in the flawless styling and impeccable art direction, it’s like something straight out of a movie.

Chu, who also styled both ‘G-Strings’ and ‘Cruise’s Big Hair: The Essay,’ went all out with this one, recreating not only the on-screen kiss but also the entirety of the hotel suite where it takes place. It is fair to say that not one, but two costume changes are in order here. The first one sees Cruise changing into a sleek black suit, while the second one sees Pattinson going for a more traditional look, donning a dark blue suit and tie.

The Execution

As for the photo shoot itself, it’s fair to say that even those who were not actually present at this particular kissing moment have seen enough to know what is going on. In terms of sheer quality, there is really nothing more to say—the images speak for themselves.

It’s almost sad that this is the best thing we have to offer today. The fact that this photo is going viral only speaks to how phenomenal it is. It really is an incredible piece of work, perfectly capturing the emotion and intensity of this iconic moment from ‘The Magnificent Seven.’ Thank you very much.