updated 07/03/2012 AT 2:40 PM ET
•originally published 07/03/2012 AT 7:30 AM ET
This was not how Tom Cruise envisioned marking a milestone.
The movie superstar had made plans to celebrate his 50th birthday in Iceland Tuesday with his wife of five years, Katie Holmes, by enjoying the country’s outdoor wonders.
“Iceland is beautiful,” Cruise told PEOPLE several weeks ago. “We like hiking, and so we’ll have some nice hikes and maybe go camping.”
But instead, the star left Iceland early Tuesday morning, according to a source. The actor appears to have arrived in Burbank, Calif.
Cruise had been in Iceland with his son Connor, where he was filming the sci-fi flick Oblivion, while his lawyers in the U.S. weigh how – and where – to respond to Holmes’s divorce papers.
The actor could file his own papers in New York, as Holmes did, or in Los Angeles, and the stakes are high, primarily in regard to custody.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Connor seemingly entered the fray when he, after a series of Iceland adventure posts, retweeted “#La Familia Always. Friends Come And Go, But Family Is Forever.”
For much more on the split, including Holmes’s dramatic exit from the marriage and the legal battle ahead, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now