Director Joseph Kosinski talks Top Gun 2 – updating the tone and use of CGI

3 min read

I’m feeling the need! The need for speed! You hear that, Hollywood? I said “speed”, not a sequel to a movie from 30 years ago the premise of which doesn’t quite fit into the modern context anymore. But as we’ve seen so many times before, Hollywood gonna Hollywood, and thus we have a sequel to late director Tony Scott’s brotastic 1986 fighter pilot action classic Top Gun on the way. The man tapped for this revival is Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) who luckily already has a working relationship with returning star Tom Cruise, having directed him in Oblivion.

No degree of professional bonding can get around the fact though that the original Top Gun was very much of its era. Nowadays, American rah-rah jingoistic flag-waving is not as warmly welcomed as it used to be. Chatting to ComingSoon, Kosinski revealed that he was fully aware that he couldn’t just make another rowdy US Navy commercial this time around.

The Navy is very different now than it was in 1986. Back then, they hadn’t been in any war for 15 or 20 years at that point. The tone of that movie and what those guys were doing was very different. Now, here in 2017, the Navy’s been at war for 20 years. It’s just a different world now, so you can’t remake the first movie. It has to adapt. That being said, I certainly want to recreate the experience of that movie, which gives you a front-seat into the world of Naval aviation and what it’s like to be in a fighter jet. The approach is going to be appropriate for the times we live in.

In Oblivion, Kosinski actually had Cruise do a fair bit of flying already, but it was in a futuristic pod rather than a modern-day fighter plane. As such, lots of CGI effects were needed to bring those sequences to life. The director’s soon to be released Only the Brave could not be a more different production though, being a biographical drama about a group of real-life firefighters who battled an epic blaze in Arizona. And it seems that the director has changed his methods a bit since then as he plans to utilize drone technology and other real-world techniques to make Top Gun 2’s fighter plane scenes as realistic as possible.

On “Only the Brave” I was able to make a movie with very little CGI to try to capture as much as I can in-camera as possible, and that will certainly be my method on “Top Gun” as well.

Top Gun 2 – or as it’s been alleged it will be titled, Top Gun: Maverick – will see Cruise reprise his role as United States Naval Aviator Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, but thus far no other cast members have been connected (though Val Kilmer really wants to strap in again). The film has been slated for a July 12, 2019 release date, which still leaves plenty of time for Kosinski and co to get this one figured out.

Last Updated: October 12, 2017

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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