Why Miles Teller Reunited With His Top Gun: Maverick Director For The Netflix Sci-Fi Thriller Spiderhead

Moviegoers saw Miles Teller take to the skies in Top Gun: Maverick last month but, here in June, they’ll see him take on another role in a very different kind of movie. The star will next be seen in Spiderhead, a science fiction thriller that’ll be available this week to those with Netflix subscriptions. Though the flick is a far cry from Tom Cruise’s critically acclaimed legacy sequel, the production did reunite Teller with Maverick director Joseph Kosinski. Which is enough to make one wonder why the actor was ready to reteam with the filmmaker so soon. 

Now, it should be mentioned that Top Gun: Maverick was delayed two years so, under normal (non-COVID) circumstances, the releases wouldn’t have been so close together. Still, this new release was the first movie Miles Teller worked on after Maverick. CinemaBlend caught up with Teller during the Spiderhead press junket, during which we asked him how far he got into the script before he signed on for Joseph Kosinski’s latest:

Probably not too far with this one, just because it came from Joe. Before this movie, we had just done two movies prior, and I had such a great experience with him. I mean, I'm not gonna say he could offer me anything, but he could probably offer me a lot of a lot of stuff, and I would just say, ‘Yes.’ But I just really enjoyed the world. I think Joe coming into this, having done Oblivion and Tron [:Legacy] and the worlds that he’s able to create visually but still maintaining it, you know, with really rich characters and performances. I was excited, but I’d never done anything in this genre before. So luckily for me, the script was also very good.

One can understand why the star, who also worked with Joseph Kosinski on 2017’s Only the Brave, was excited to board the production. The director does indeed know how to create visually arresting worlds for the big screen but can also keep them grounded through great performances. When it comes to securing the talent, Kosinski has proven to be quite skilled, as he succeeded in pitching Top: Gun Maverick to Tom Cruise, even though he initially had no interest in doing the sequel. Also, when the movie actually kicked off production, the director was able to sweet talk his way into landing the location for the amazing hangar scene.

I doubt you’ll see much aviation-related iconography in his newest cinematic endeavor, though. As the Spiderhead trailer revealed, the near-future-set movie takes place at a facility, where inmates voluntarily participate in experiments involving emotion-altering drugs, in order to reduce their sentences. Miles Teller’s Jeff and Jurnee Smollett’s Lizzy are at the center of the story, as the two will grapple with their personal histories while discovering their feelings for one another. On top of that, they’ll have to contend with the prison’s ruthless (but witty) overseer, Steve Abnesti, played by the always-charming Chris Hemsworth.

This could be another solid addition to Miles Teller’s growing filmography. The actor has been incredibly busy as of late and hasn’t had the time to formally soak in the success of Top Gun: Maverick. But he did tell us during the junket that he has been able to celebrate through some of the premieres and his general interactions with fans. 

He may get a reprieve soon but, right now, he seems more than pumped for Spiderhead to arrive. With Only the Brave and Maverick, he and Joseph Kosinski have delivered some strong cinematic outings. We’ll see if they can keep things going with this wild-looking science fiction film.

Check out Spiderhead hits Netflix on Friday, June 17, and you can see Top Gun: Maverick in theaters now. Be sure that you also keep your eyes on CinemaBlend’s schedule of 2022 movie releases to stay up on other major films headed your way this year.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.