How do you feel about a Top Gun sequel starring a 55-year-old Tom Cruise? Well, according to a report by OmegaUnderground, we’re about to find out, because Top Gun: Maverick goes in front of cameras this July!
The project recently picked up momentum when Cruise’s name emerged as a potential lead in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood movie, which is also shooting this summer. Whether the latter informed the former is open to speculation, but Cruise’s return to the cockpit is suddenly picking up speed.
Top Gun debuted 33 years ago, with Cruise playing Lt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, a patriotic but risk-taking Navy fighter pilot during the Cold War of the 1980s. Maverick’s danger-zone antics earned him a trip to the Navy’s advanced fighter weapons school at Miramar NAS in San Diego, where he went up against the Navy’s best of the best; the school has since moved to Fallon, Nevada, according to the LA Times, and was renamed: USN Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, which is nowhere near as sexy as Top Gun.
The storyline for Top Gun: Maverick is intriguing and potentially relevant to real-world events. According to director Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion), the film is set in modern-day and will focus on the Navy’s ongoing wartime role and its place within the U.S. military. Kosinki explained the premise in an interview with ComingSoon late last year:
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.”
Kosinski is describing a surprisingly realistic take on modern Navy fighter pilots in a renewed Cold War, which once again sees the Russians as potential air-to-air adversaries. However, the original Top Gun was more of an over-the-top popcorn movie in its day, so it will be interesting to see if Kosinski’s edgier vision holds as the project moves forward.
There’s also the matter of Cruise’s age — driving an F/A-18 (the Navy’s modern-day, carrier-based strike fighter) would seem to be a younger man’s game. However, there’s actually precedent for over-50 pilots in the modern Navy. Commander Tim ‘Scorch’ Kurtz recently retired at 54, as the Navy’s oldest active pilot, according to the Advocate. And we all know that Tom Cruise is nothing if not willing to defy age and show-off his physicality, as punctuated by his nasty stunt-related injury on the set of the latest Mission Impossible film.
Top Gun: Maverick is shaping up to be a really interesting and compelling project. The subject-matter and tone could help this movie stand out from all of the superheroes, robots, and aliens that are destined for the 2019 summer movie season. Plus, who among us doesn’t want to hear Tom Cruise say, “I feel the need… the need for speed!” one more time?
Top Gun: Maverick hits theaters on July 12, 2019.