We’re on a hiiiiiiiiiighwaaaaaay tooooo theeeeee… sequel zone! And damn, this road has been a long one. There have been talks of a Top Gun sequel pretty much ever since the late great Tony Scott wrapped production on his 1986 classic. A few years ago those talks flared up again, with David Ellison’s Skydance Productions setting to take a crack at it this time around. Originally the sequel would have featured a new generation of stars (probably sans Ray Bans) with original star Tom “Maverick” Cruise just taking a minor role, but last we heard from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Cruise would be back in a big way. Answering questions during a press junket for Terminator Genisys (via Collider), Ellison confirmed Cruise’s leading role as well what is happening with the production right now.
“Justin Marks is writing the screenplay right now. He has a phenomenal take to really update that world for what fighter pilots in the Navy has turned into today. 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. I don’t think [it is] what people are going to expect, and we are very, very hopeful that we get to make the movie very soon. But like all things, it all comes down to the script, and Justin is writing as we speak.”
Now as we all know – and have recently reestablished with him pulling off superhuman feats underwater – Tom Cruise is a crazy person who wants to do everything on-screen for real. So while this sequel will be taking advantage of modern advances in movie technology, don’t expect this to just be a great big cartoon CGI-fest.
“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.”
But exactly what will they actually be shooting? According to Ellison, the central thematic thrust of this sequel will be looking at the modern world in which the role of the actual dogfighting “Top Gun” has become almost obsolete.
“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 [new] world has not been explored. It is very much a world we live in today where it’s drone technology and fifth generation fighters, [which] 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.”
That “fun things” bit is of importance to me, because while the issue of drone warfare is one that is controversial and very serious, a glum dissection of the military industrial complex is not why you would go to see a movie called Top Gun. Recapturing the original’s sense of cheesy fun will certainly be difficult – I can already hear Nick pleading for more volleyball games – but if they can nail it, it would be awesome.
The still untitled Top Gun sequel doesn’t have a director attached to it yet, but whoever ends up in that position will certainly play a huge role in how this all plays out.
Last Updated: June 29, 2015