Updated: Aug 30, 2018 11:08 am
It's been 32 years, but fans are finally getting their sequel to Top Gun, which actually began filming at the end of May. Not exactly falling into the category of spoiler is the fact that the film is bringing Tom Cruise back in one of his most iconic roles — Maverick — and reuniting him with the original's producer, Jerry Bruckheimer. Joining them from the original is Val Kilmer, who is reprising the role of "Iceman," and all three of them will be surrounded by a whole new crew both in front of and behind the camera.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Tom, of course, hasn't been idle since 1986, having starred in 34 movies, the latest of which, Mission Impossible: Fallout, is a huge action hit and the sixth installment in the MI series. His schedule, according to Jerry, is part of the reason why it's taken so long for Top Gun: Maverick to finally get into production. "Fortunately for Tom, he’s very busy," he mused to The Huffington Post, "so you have to find a slot he can fit into and get a budget that Paramount feels they can make the picture.” Needless to say, Paramount found that all the parts fit.
Not that this is unusual for a Cruise film, but details regarding the plot are under wraps. At the same time, there may be clue (unless things have changed since then) in something Jerry said in that interview, where he noted that the film dealt with the issue of drones: "The concept is, basically, are the pilots obsolete because of drones? Cruise is going to show them that they’re not obsolete. They’re here to stay.” Sounds good to us!
What follows is our preview of Top Gun: Maverick, providing a guide to the cast members we know of at this point, and featuring behind the scenes comments from both Jerry and director Joseph Kosinski. We hope that you, like us, still have the need for speed — scroll down the check out the gallery!
Tom Cruise is Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell
What goes around comes around, and, oh, man, Maverick, are things about to come around! The character has gone from newbie to flight instructor and will no doubt be dealing with a whole bunch of personalities that were like him in the first film. As for Tom Cruise himself, the man has had an extraordinary career that has spanned over 35 years and encompassed a wide variety of films. He's currently the star of no less than two franchises, playing the characters of Jack Reacher (twice) and Ethan Hunt (six times). For anyone wondering whether or not Maverick still has the need for speed — have you seen the Mission Impossible films?
An interesting fact from The Aviationist is, "Lead actor Tom Cruise is a pilot himself, having earned a private pilot rating in 1994 and a commercial license in 1998 according to FAA records. He recently flew a helicopter in the Mission Impossible: Fallout. Cruise also clung to outside of an Airbus A400M Atlas in the 2015 film, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. In the 2017 film American Made, about real-life drug running CIA pilot Barry Seal, Tom Cruise actually was piloting an aircraft in all of the scenes that show him as pilot according to a 2017 article by Julia Bianco on Looper.com."
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer
One of the few "survivors" of the original Top Gun is uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Talk about a legend in the movie business, here are just some of the films he's credited on as producer: Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop, Days of Thunder, Crimson Tide, Bad Boys, The Rock, Con Air, Enemy of the State, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Black Hawk Down, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, National Treasure, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, 12 Strong....
Pardon us as we take a breath before we start on the TV shows he's produced....
The Amazing Race, Soldier of Fortune, Inc.; CSI and its spin-offs; Without a Trace, Cold Case, Close to Home, The Forgotten, Miami Medical, Chase, Hostages, Lucifer, and Training Day.
That's a whole lotta producing. And yet, despite all that experience, he's still feeling the pressure when it comes to Top Gun: Maverick. "I’ll tell ya, any movie you make has pressure there, and when you have an iconic movie like Top Gun, you know the bar is really high," he told the UK's Metro. "But we try to raise the bar in everything we do, so it’s all about getting enormously talented people to work on it, and Tom is such a gifted not only actor, but also he produced this thing and he’s got a real sense of what the audience wants and what he likes."
"Audiences don’t change," he added. "They just want really good entertainment. And what you find is that there’s so many other ways that they can spend their time, between video games, sporting events and television has been phenomenal with streaming and regular channels, cable, so there’s a lot of choices for them. The movie has to be really special and different to get them to leave their house and go to the film."