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Tom Cruise Thought About Making A Top Gun: Extreme Cut Of The Movie For Audiences With A Need For Speed

One of the selling points of seeing Top Gun: Maverick when it opens in theaters over Memorial Day weekend is that the aerial sequences are some of the most intense and visceral scenes captured in a Hollywood film. Tom Cruise had the need for speed in the original Top Gun, released in 1986. But the actor is going to great lengths to make sure the audience feels the need by enjoying Maverick on the biggest screen possible, pretending that you are in the back on the Navy’s F-18 fighter jets, alongside Maverick and his crew. 

In fact, Top Gun: Maverick co-star Glen Powell – who plays Hangman in the upcoming sequel – told CinemaBlend during the movie’s recent red carpet celebration that Tom Cruise thought about making two versions of the new sequel: One that he called the “extreme” cut, and a safer one for audiences who might not be able to stomach the simulations. Powell confessed to us:

I think this movie does a pretty incredible job of putting the audience into the back of an F-18. That’s why Tom convinced us to get in the back of the F-18. He’s like, ‘You can’t simulate this thing with green screen. You gotta show the Gs on people’s faces. You gotta put actors in the back of that jet.’ We were even worried that audiences would think this movie is too intense. Tom at one point thought about doing a Top Gun, and a Top Gun: Extreme, because he thought that there are certain audiences that couldn’t handle the visceral and intense footage that we were churning out.

Glen Powell definitely enjoyed his time on Top Gun: Maverick, raving about Tom Cruise’s go-go attitude and already singling out the scene he thinks fans will make a GIF out of. That all sounds like way more fun that the aerial sequences that the cast had to endure, because Tom Cruise put his co-stars through the ringer with intense flight training to make sure their performances were as accurate as possible. 

That being said, it’s hard enough now to get ONE cut of a movie into theaters, let alone an “Extreme” cut of a blockbuster. Just ask DC filmmakers Zack Snyder and David Ayer about how complicated it can be to get your preferred cut of a movie before the audience. But we can see a souped-up version of Top Gun: Maverick included on the film’s home-video release – especially given the fact that people’s home video systems are improved… but still not as good as an IMAX screening of Joseph Kosinski’s roller-coaster-ride of a film.

We plan to have plenty more on Top Gun: Maverick as the movie gets closer to release. The reviews have been positive, Lady Gaga’s original song has been praised by Cruise, and the movie has a prime Memorial Day release, with very little competition in sight. Keep track of all the upcoming 2022 movies, and we will see you at the multiplexes. 

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

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.