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Maverick: Tom Cruise is back in Top Gun sequel to premiere 27 May in cinemas

After sitting on the release of Top Gun: Maverick for two years it will finally hit cinemas 27 May where it was meant to be viewed like the original.

Tom Cruise is back as Maverick in new Top Gun film
Ken IshiiGetty

It’s been almost four decades since Maverick flew onto the silver screen, and at the lead actor’s behest a two-year wait so that it could be released in theatres, “Top Gun: Maverick” arrives 27 May. The 1986 blockbuster established Tom Cruise, then just 24 years old, as a major star playing the hotshot fighter pilot Maverick.

Although the first thing that director Joseph Kosinski told The Hollywood Reporter had to be in the film was Maverick, he and those who made the film possible all agreed from the onset, “we don’t want to be the cover band version of Top Gun.” All went to great lengths to make a film that was visually meant to be seen in the theater, from overcoming doubts about the ability to mount cameras inside the F-18 fighter jets to the physical training the actors went through to tolerate the G-force in flight.

Tom Cruise convinced to return as Maverick to Top Gun

Momentum for the sequel moved in fits and starts after the 1986 hit, but no real attempt was made until producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott, director of the original Top Gun movie, got together in 2012. However, just days after that meeting Scott tragically died. Then five years ago Kosinski presented his vision of a story for Maverick in a sequel and he was whisked off to Paris to sell Cruise on the idea.

After the pitch, Cruise called up the head of Paramount to say he wanted to make another Top Gun film. That’s when the ball got rolling according to Bruckheimer. He laid down some conditions though, Val Kilmer had to play Iceman and the actors playing pilots had to go through flight training.

The making of Top Gun: Maverick

Unlike the first time when he tried to get out of the gig, Kilmer was happy to sign on for the sequel. In the original he wrote a whole backstory to explain a character that didn’t give him much to work with. For Maverick he wrote how now Admiral “Iceman” could be integrated into the film, according to Kosinski, despite undergoing a tracheotomy in 2015 that permanently damaged his voice. Although he makes just a brief appearance, the reunion between the Iceman and Maverick has drawn glowing reactions in early screenings.

On Cruise’s other stipulation, even though he did the flight training course over 30 years before, in his dedication to the movie and fellow actors, he did the grueling program again. He also devised a program to get them into shape to be filmed in the cockpits of the Super Hornets.

To capture the feel of being inside the F-18s during the action sequences, cinematographer, Claudio Miranda, and his crew performed a 15-month science experiment to put six cameras in with the pilots. After working closely with the Navy and convincing them it could be done, they got the greenlight. Using a very small camera made by Sony and customizing them to the project, the crew were able to film Imax-quality shots.

Top Gun; Maverick will hit theaters 27 May 2022

Although it was hard to keep from releasing the sequel to Top Gun for the past two years, the movie was designed to be seen in a theater and not streamed. “It would have been much worse to see the movie get released in a non-theatrical way because it is in the Top Gun DNA to be a theatrical experience,” Koniski told The Hollywood Reporter. Furthermore he said, “that is what Tom was adamant we were going to wait for.”

Bruckheimer hopes that new generations will get lost in the world that they’ve created and have the same experience that he had as a kid when he went to the cinema. He says he always tells people “You have a kitchen in your house, but you still like to go out to eat. You have a TV with all the streamers, but there’s something about a group experience.” Adding “Being able to laugh, be scared and feel emotion with a crowd of people is so important.”

Maverick will be released in theaters in the United States Friday 27 May.


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