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There’s One One Way To Get An Extra Hour Of Top Gun: Maverick Aerial Footage You Won’t See Anywhere Else

Tom Cruise flying jet in Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Based on early box office numbers, a lot of people already are heading out to theaters to see Tom Cruise’s anticipated sequel Top Gun: Maverick. The movie had been delayed for years (with very good reason, according to Cruise), but now that theaters are operating at full function, Paramount decided to unleash the fury of Joseph Kosinski’s sequel to let audience members feel the need for speed one more time after a 36 year hiatus. And the film does not disappoint. Reviews have been solid, including the one filed by our very own Eric Eisenberg. And box office records are being threatened over this Memorial Day weekend. But Kosinski told CinemaBlend about a special way to see Top Gun: Maverick that will require finding a unique theater, and enjoying up to an hour of unseen footage.

ScreenX is a theatrical presentation that spreads the image across three screens, side by side. They create a panoramic vista that completely engulfs the audience, creating an atmosphere that’s even more immersive than IMAX. But most features aren’t filmed with an expanded horizontal ratio in mind, so they need to fill those side screens with other footage. Not Top Gun: Maverick. When Joseph Kosinski appeared as a guest on CinemaBlend’s official podcast, ReelBlend, he told the hosts:

Because I had six cameras in the cockpits, I've got these side angles that we use occasionally, but don't use all the time. We also are releasing the film in a format called ScreenX, which is a three screen format where the walls of the theater become an image. Usually on those films, they have to create them in CG and fill it out, or put colors or kind of blurred images. I actually had cameras pointing out both sides. So on the ScreenX version, you're gonna get an hour of live action side footage as well. So instead of going vertical, we go horizontal. And there's even a version where they do ScreenX plus 4DX. So if you can find a theater that has 4DX and ScreenX, you'll get three screens and you'll get the moving chairs and the smoke and the snow and all the stuff that happens with the 4DX experience.

This sounds insane. Because even in the normal format, Top Gun: Maverick makes the audience feel like they are in the cockpit, flying alongside Tom Cruise’s Maverick, and the young co-pilots accompanying him on this new mission. There’s a reason why Cruise made his co-stars endure an intense training regimen, and a big part of the reason why Jay Ellis is so proud of the movie, as someone who grew up as part of a military family. Cruise has continued to use his skills to terrify friends like James Corden, or thrill co-stars like Jennifer Connelly (who goes on a ride, even though she doesn’t play a pilot). 

But because of this advancement in technology, Kosinski and his crew will now be able to use ScreenX and 4DX to enhance the audience’s experience when they finally see Top Gun: Maverick. So grab your tickets, and go now.

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.