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Much talked about for years, but seemingly never that close to happening, it appears the momentum is finally, properly building for the sequel to Top Gun. Out promoting The Mummy, Tom Cruise dropped word that the film has a title… Top Gun: Maverick.
As he explains in the above video from Access Hollywood, Cruise wanted to avoid the number convention, much as the more recent Mission Impossible sequels have. While we’re not sure the film necessarily needs to hint it’ll focus partly on Cruise’s character (we could have predicted that), it’s interesting to note that despite all the talk of drones, it’ll have the same tone and style as the original, with Harold Faltermeyer on score duty and a plot full of competition between pilots – there will be aircraft carriers and jets. Watch Cruise sidestep the question of drones altogether, like a cocky pilot buzzing the tower when he’s warned not to…
Joseph Kosinski is the star’s choice to direct, and there may well be a return engagement for Val Kilmer as Iceman (though Cruise doesn’t mention any co-stars, probably because deals have to be done).
Shooting should kick off next year, so it seems we’ll be feeling the need for speed by 2019.
Bruckheimer produced “Top Gun,” the Oscar-winning 1986 action drama that starred Cruise as young Navy pilot Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.
Development of “Top Gun 2” was confirmed last year by Skydance CEO David Ellison, who also shared some details about the plot.
“It is very much a world we live in today where it’s drone technology and fifth generation fighters… It’s really exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today,” said Ellison at a “Terminator Genisys” press junket last June. The exec also hinted that Cruise would be returning to reprise his role as Maverick. “There is an amazing role for Maverick in the movie, and there is no ‘Top Gun’ without Maverick, and it is going to be Maverick playing Maverick,” Ellison said.
Val Kilmer, who played Lt. Tom “Iceman” Kazanski in the original, announced on Facebook in November that he was offered a role in the sequel as well, adding, “not often you get to say ‘yes’ without reading the script.”
Oh, is the movie getting off the writer’s desk now?
Top Gun 2 has been in development for almost five years now. When the project was first being revived, Tom Cruise was planning to return for a small role. Since then, the project has ballooned, and Cruise will have a starring role in the sequel.
During a group interview at the press day for Terminator Genisys in Berlin, Skydance CEO David Ellison and CCO Dana Goldberg were asked about the status of Top Gun 2, and what we can expect from the film, which is currently being written by Justin Marks (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li).
Ellison confirms that Tom Cruise is starring in this one when he says “Maverick playing Maverick”. What makes me curious is that this clearly can’t be the same cocky kid from the original movie. I’m interested to see what that character looks like almost 30 years later, especially since his profession has changed so drastically. He used to be the hot shot, and now it appears he’ll be the fossil.
In addition to confirming that the movie will be in 3D and IMAX (there will also be practical effects because that’s how Cruise rolls), Ellison went into more detail about what he meant when he talked about what the Navy has become and how it relates to Maverick:
ELLISON: Absolutely, I think this is a movie that should be in 3-D and in IMAX, and again something that you can shoot practically. As everyone knows with Tom, he is 100% going to want to be in those airplanes shooting it practically. When you look at the world of dogfighting, what’s interesting about it is that it’s not a world that exists to the same degree when the original movie came out. This world has not been explored. It is very much a world we live in today where it’s drone technology and fifth generation fighters are really what the United States Navy is calling the last man-made fighter that we’re actually going to produce so it’s really exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today are all fun things that we’re gonna get to dive into in this movie.
So it sounds like this movie isn’t going to be in the vein of the deadly serious Good Kill, although this is still a difficult line to walk. Drones are killing lots of people, and it’s a complex issue. We have the power to summon death from above with no risk to us. However, it also reduces the number of soldier we have to send to dangerous places. I’m not sure how a character like Maverick fits into that, but I’m curious to find out.
Head over to Collider for the full interview with David Ellison
“Top Gun 2” is still happening according to Jerry Bruckheimer, and its plot is as modern as ever. The super producer stopped by HuffPost Live on Thursday to discuss his new book, “Jerry Bruckheimer: When Lightning Strikes, Four Decades of Filmmaking,” and also explained how the sequel could exist in today’s world of warfare.
“We’ve been trying to get that movie made for 30 years, and I think we’re getting closer and closer,” Bruckheimer told Ricky Camilleri. “Don [Simpson] and I tried to develop something, we didn’t succeed. [Tom] Cruise took over, and he tried to develop something, and he didn’t succeed. Now we’re back at it.”
As Bruckheimer noted, it was Tony Scott, the film’s original director, who was able to crack the story before his death in 2012.
“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,” Bruckheimer said. “It’s just getting to the starting place. Fortunately for Tom, he’s very busy, so you have to find a slot he can fit into and get a budget that Paramount feels they can make the picture.”
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