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The Theme Song For Top Gun: Maverick Sounds Like It Came About By ‘Accident,’ As Johnny Marr Tells It

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Skydance Media)

As any movie buff can tell you, a film’s score or theme song can instantly cement its status as a Hollywood classic. And when it comes to Top Gun, the soundtrack contained smash hits like ‘Danger Zone’. So when it came to composing the theme song for Top Gun: Maverick, one could feel pressured to craft a memorable song - but musician Johnny Marr actually came up with it by accident.  

In an interview with Variety, Johnny Marr revealed the ‘accidental’ way he came up with the theme song for the upcoming sequel Top Gun: Maverick. He said: 

I’ll tell you, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this anywhere yet, but I don’t see why not. Almost by accident, I guess did the theme to the new Top Gun [Top Gun: Maverick]. I think there was some issue with how the theme was sounding, and I was around and I have a guitar. It really was as simple as that. I haven’t seen the movie in its entirety.

Industry heavyweights Harold Faltermeyer and Hans Zimmer are composing the score for the film, but it’s no surprise that they enlisted Johnny Marr to revitalize Top: Gun Maverick’s theme song. The former co-songwriter of The Smiths has worked with Zimmer before, with one of his most notable projects being the theme for the James Bond film No Time to Die with pop singer Billie Eilish. Marr’s work has traversed genres, making him especially qualified to create a unique movie theme. And with his years of experience shredding on a six-string, it would have been child’s play for him to whip out a melody on the fly. 

But how can Johnny Marr write a theme song without having seen the movie in question? Apparently, composer Hans Zimmer, who’s written some of the most iconic film scores in history, only had one requirement for the new song. Johnny Marr explained: 

I didn’t do the score, I just played the theme. Hans [Zimmer] had something to do with it because he was a friend of Harold Faltermeyer. Harold Faltermeyer [who did the music for the original “Top Gun” film in 1986] was who I got the music from, but then Harold Faltermeyer wasn’t doing it. But anyway, that’s the only movie news I’ve got to report. I suppose as news goes, it could be worse. I was presented with the thing and they wanted me to make it sound epic. I was like, sure, okay, I can do that!

‘Epic’ is definitely in Johnny Marr’s wheelhouse. After he left The Smiths, he worked with bands like Modest Mouse, The Cribs, and The Pretenders, all while steadily writing and releasing solo material. He’s also worked on the scores for major films like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Christopher Nolan’s Inception. If Marr’s lengthy resume is any indication, the theme for Top Gun: Maverick is in good hands. We’ll just have to wait for the film to premiere to get our first pass at another a surefire classic. 

The original Top Gun is available to rent on Amazon Prime Video, and Top Gun: Maverick will fly into theaters on May 27, 2022. Tom Cruise is set to reprise his role as Maverick, while Miles Teller will play Goose’s son. In the meantime, you can check out more upcoming movie releases to begin planning your 2022 viewing experience. 

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.