With today being the 30th anniversary of Top Gun’s theatrical release, we figured it's a good time to go over everything we know so far about the action classic’s long-awaited sequel.
It’s closer than ever
While not officially greenlit, Top Gun 2 is in development at Paramount, and according to Jerry Bruckheimer, the studio is excited about it. Talking to Extra last month, the returning mega producer said, “We hope Top Gun 2 is happening. We’ve been trying for 30 years. I think we’re the closest we’ve been.” See the full interview below.
Tom Cruise will return
You can’t bring back Top Gun without the guy most associated with the 1986 blockbuster, so of course Tom Cruise is returning as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. He and Bruckheimer resumed talks about the sequel back in January and shared a reunion photo on Twitter:
Just got back from a weekend in New Orleans to see my old friend @TomCruise and discuss a little Top Gun 2. pic.twitter.com/vA2xK7S7JS
— JERRY BRUCKHEIMER (@BRUCKHEIMERJB) January 26, 2016
More recently, Bruckheimer confirmed the actor in the following interview with Entertainment Tonight:
It’s gotta be practical
Last summer, Cruise wasn’t yet certain Top Gun 2 would happen, but when asked about it on the red carpet for the premiere of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, he stated, “we got to do all the jets practical, no CGI on the jets. … If we can figure all that out, and the Department of Defense will allow us to do it, that would be fun.” See the full interview with Extra below.
Val Kilmer is also on board
Less official but seemingly true is the return of Val Kilmer as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky. Last November, the actor let the cat out of the bag on his Facebook page. His language in the post confused fans into thinking Gene Hackman and Francis Ford Coppola are also involved, but he later edited to clarify. The part about him reprising his role still appears legit.
How about Kelly McGillis?
Is Maverick still with his former instructor, Charlie Blackwood, after all these years? It’s unlikely, but perhaps there could still be a part for Kelly McGillis, the actress who played Cruise’s love interest in the original. In 2014, she told The Independent, “Yeah, I’d cameo in it maybe!” However, she reportedly seemed to believe she wouldn’t be asked back.
Tom Skerritt is also not so sure
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Tom Skerritt while promoting the new 30th anniversary home video release to USA Today this month. The actor, who played flight instructor Mike “Viper” Metcalf in the original and presumably won’t be back, doesn’t even seem sure it should happen. “Trying to capture that lightning in a bottle over and over again … is a pretty desperate way to go.”
The movie is in the screenplay zone
In early April, Bruckheimer told Deadline that writer Justin Marks (Disney’s The Jungle Book remake) had just begun working on the latest script for the sequel. It could take time since Marks is a huge fan of the original and so wants to get Top Gun 2 just right. Here’s a bit of what he recently told Creative Screenwriting about his mission:
"How would I start to build a story that would feel like an evolution from the first film, but also feels like something that would very much connect us to why we loved Top Gun and Maverick as a character in the first place?"
Marks then shared a wee bit of his research for the script:
"…just researching the Joint Strike Fighters, the F-35, the different notions of where the Navy is today was a very interesting insight and it started to give me ideas of what Top Gun would represent in a current era."
The plot will likely involve drones
Last summer Top Gun 2 producer David Ellison (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) told Collider the sequel will involve drones and how their military use has changed Maverick’s world.
A year earlier, Bruckheimer told Bloomberg a similar idea:
"Well you know, technology has changed obviously since we made the first one. So I think we're going to take advantage of what the world is like today, with the drones kinda taking over a lot of our wars today, but is the pilot obsolete? Those jet jockeys, are they gone now? No, I don't think so, I think they're going to be around for quite a while. Because you still have to make quick decisions and the pilots who want to make quick decisions, so we're going to hopefully highlight both worlds."
See the rest of that interview here:
In the meantime
While we wait for further updates — and the actual sequel, of course — there is now more Top Gun available to fans in the form of Paramount’s 30th anniversary edition of the movie released on steelbook Blu-ray and digital formats. Here’s an interview clip with Cruise from the three hours of bonus material:
You can also watch the movie via FandangoNow.