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Top Gun: Maverick is a 2022 American action drama film directed by Joseph Kosinski, produced by Jerry BruckheimerTom CruiseDavid Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger with screenplay written by Peter CraigJustin MarksChristopher McQuarrie, and Eric Warren Singer. It is the sequel to Top Gun (1986) and stars Tom Cruise, Miles TellerJennifer ConnellyJon HammGlen PowellLewis Pullman, and Ed Harris, with Cruise and Val Kilmer reprising their roles from the first film.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2022, before its theatrical release in the United States on May 27, 2022, by Paramount Pictures. It was originally scheduled for release on July 12, 2019, but was postponed to "allow the production to work out all the complex flight sequences". In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was delayed even more, until Paramount settled on the final date of May 27.

Premise

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy's top aviators, Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: "Rooster", the son of Maverick's late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka "Goose". Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.

Cast

  • Tom Cruise as Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a flight instructor
  • Miles Teller as Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, a pilot trainee, and the son of Maverick's late RIO, Nick "Goose" Bradshaw.
  • Jennifer Connelly as Maverick's love interest, who is a single mother and owner of a bar.
  • Jon Hamm as a three-star vice admiral
  • Glen Powell as a pilot trainee
  • Lewis Pullman
  • Ed Harris as a two-star rear admiral, who is Maverick's superior
  • Val Kilmer as Commander Tom "Iceman" Kazansky, a fellow instructor and friend and former rival of Maverick.
  • Monica Barbaro as pilot trainee "Phoenix"
  • Manny Jacinto as Fritz
  • Charles Parnell
  • Jay Ellis
  • Bashir Salahuddin
  • Danny Ramirez
  • Jake Picking
  • Raymond Lee
  • Jean Louisa Kelly

Production

Development

Development of the film began in 2010 when Paramount Pictures made offers to Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott to make a sequel to Top Gun. Christopher McQuarrie had also received an offer to write the sequel's screenplay, which was rumored to have Tom Cruise's character Maverick in a smaller role. Peter Craig, Justin Marks, who described the film as a dream project, Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz would be credited as screenwriters on the project.

When asked about his idea for a new Top Gun film, Scott replied, "This world fascinated me, because it's so different from what it was originally. But I don't want to do a remake. I don't want to do a reinvention. I want to do a new movie." The film will reportedly focus on the end of the dogfighting era and the role of drones in modern aerial warfare and that Cruise's character, Maverick, will fly an F/A-18 Super Hornet. After Scott's suicide, the sequel's future remained in question, but producer Jerry Bruckheimer remained committed to the project, especially given Cruise's and Kilmer's interest.

In June 2017, Cruise revealed that the title would be Top Gun: Maverick, with Harold Faltermeyer returning as composer for the sequel. Cruise further stated that, "Aviators are back, the need for speed. We're going to have big, fast machines. It's going to be a competition film, like the first one … but a progression for Maverick." Later the same month, it was confirmed that the film would be directed by Joseph Kosinski, while no title was officially confirmed.

Musician Kenny Loggins has confirmed that his song "Danger Zone", which was used in the first film, will be featured in the sequel. In October 2018, it was reported that Hans Zimmer would also compose for the film alongside Harold Faltermeyer.

On June 19, 2019, at CineEurope in Barcelona, attendees were able to watch for the first time some early footage of the film from a special Paramount presentation. During the presentation the President of International Theatrical Distribution Mark Viane and co-president of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution Mary Daily appeared in flight clothes.

Casting

Val Kilmer had campaigned on his social media page that he would like to reprise his role in the film, and by June 2018, The Wrap reported that he will appear in the film. While Bruckheimer and the filmmakers wanted to bring Kilmer back, Cruise was the one who tirelessly insisted in bringing back Kilmer to reprise his role. In July 2018, Miles Teller was cast in the role of Goose's son, against Nicholas Hoult and Glen Powell. All three were flown to Cruise's home, the star of the film, for chemistry tests. Later that month, Jennifer Connelly joined the film's cast to play a single mother running a bar near the Naval base.

In August 2018, Powell joined the cast of the film in a pilot trainee role that was enlarged for him, having impressed star Tom Cruise, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, as well as executives at Paramount Pictures and Skydance, with his auditions. That same month, Monica Barbaro, Thomasin McKenzie, Charles Parnell, Jay Ellis, Bashir Salahuddin, Danny Ramirez, Ed Harris, Jon Hamm and Lewis Pullman joined the cast of the film with Barbaro, Ellis, and Ramirez portraying pilot trainees and McKenzie portraying Connelly's daughter. In September 2018, Manny Jacinto joined the cast of the film. In October 2018, Kara Wang, Jack Schumacher, Greg Tarzan Davis, Jake Picking, Raymond Lee, Jean Louisa Kelly and Lyliana Wray joined the cast of the film. Additionally, McKenzie was forced to drop out of the film after signing onto Lost Girls. In November 2018, Chelsea Harris joined the cast of the film in an undisclosed role.

According to Kelly McGillis, who appeared in the original film, she was not asked to appear in the sequel.

Filming

Preliminary production on the film officially started on May 30, 2018, in San Diego, California. During late August a 15-person film crew from Paramount and Bruckheimer Films were aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to shoot flight deck operations. In mid-February 2019, Cruise and the production crew were sighted on board USS Theodore Roosevelt at NAS North Island. In March, filming was completed at NAS Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Washington.

On June 19, 2019, Miles Teller revealed in an interview that he had finished filming two days earlier. Principal photography was scheduled until April 15, 2019, in San Diego, California; Lemoore, California; China Lake, California; Lake Tahoe, California; Seattle, Washington; and Patuxent River, Maryland.[citation needed]

The movie was filmed in IMAX format using IMAX-Certified Sony Venice 6K Full Screen cameras.

Marketing

The film's first trailer premiered during a surprise appearance by Cruise at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con on July 18, 2019. The first trailer received high praise from fans, with many lauding the return of the series and some comparing it to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that some fans noticed that the flag of the Republic of China (known as the Taiwanese flag) and the Flag of Japan were missing from the bomber jacket of Cruise's character and accused Paramount of removing it to appease China-based co-financier Tencent Pictures.

In February 2020, toy manufacturer Matchbox company (owned by Mattel) announced that they were releasing a series of Top Gun die-cast models and products, including an F-14 Tomcat, Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, North American P-51 Mustang and role play items. They were scheduled for public release on June 1, 2020, despite the delayed theatrical release.

In June 2020, plastic model manufacturer Revell company released a series of 1/48 scale Top Gun plastic models, including an F-14A Tomcat and an F/A-18E Super Hornet based upon the aircraft in the movie. These are versions of previous Revell offerings with modified decals and markings. In July 2020, Hasbro announced a Top Gun themed Transformers toy, "Maverick", which released later in the year.

In August 2021, the first 13 minutes of the film were previewed at CinemaCon along with a new trailer with Tom Cruise marking his presence virtually at the event.

In February 2022, a trailer of the film tied to Porsche was aired before Super Bowl LVI.

Release

Top Gun: Maverick was originally scheduled to be released by Paramount Pictures on July 12, 2019. In August 2018, it was delayed to June 26, 2020, to "allow the production to work out all the complex flight sequences". On March 2, 2020, Paramount moved the film up two days early on June 24, 2020. On April 2, 2020, it was delayed to December 23 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic declared by the World Health Organization.

On July 23, 2020, the film was delayed again to July 2, 2021, partially due to scheduling conflicts with Cruise, as well as the recent delays of Mulan and Tenet due to the rise of COVID-19 cases. In April 2021, the film was delayed again to November 19, 2021. On September 1, 2021, the film was delayed once more, this time to May 27, 2022. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2022, in an Official Selection Screening. The Cannes premiere included a tribute to Cruise and his career. Netflix and Apple TV+ tried to purchase the distribution rights to the film, but Paramount has refused to sell them.

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