The Touching Way The Top Gun: Maverick Filmmakers Honored Original Top Gun Director Tony Scott

Tom Cruise as Maverick in Top Gun
(Image credit: Paramount)

In recent years, it’s been a joy for movie fans to come back together to see a sequel to a classic ‘80s movie, with examples including Blade Runner 2049, Coming 2 America and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Coming this summer, Tom Cruise will return as U.S. Naval Aviator Peter “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick alongside a star-studded cast, after over a decade of the sequel being in the works. 

When the development of the Top Gun sequel began, the 1986 movie’s original director, Tony Scott, was attached to direct. However, the filmmaker tragically died by suicide in 2012, and Oblivion and Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski later inherited the helming reins. As the movie’s release comes closer, Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer has shared the sweet way he and the other filmmakers have honored the original director behind Top Gun. In Bruckheimer’s words: 

One of the most heartwarming things I experienced is when we showed the movie to Tony’s brother, Ridley. He was laudatory in his praise for the film, and the kind of care that Tom took to honor Tony throughout the movie. That was foremost in everybody’s mind.

The late Tony Scott has a fellow filmmaker brother in Ridley Scott, who, of course, famously made movies like Alien and Blade Runner in his heyday, while in recent years he's helmed flicks like The Last Duel and House of Gucci. During a recent interview with Empire, Jerry Bruckheimer revealed that they showed Ridley Scott Top Gun: Maverick early, and apparently there are a number of tributes to his late brother. 

Getting the thumbs up from Ridley Scott in general is a huge deal, but Top Gun: Maverick will continue the legacy of the ‘80s film Tony Scott delivered. Per Jerry Bruckheimer, Scott was vocal in his praise about the upcoming 2022 movie. Check out the Top Gun: Maverick trailer

Tony Scott was reportedly part of early conversations about Top Gun: Maverick dating back to 2011, one year before he died. The Top Gun director met with Jerry Bruckheimer, Tom Cruise, screenplay co-writer Christopher McQuarrie and David Ellison, another producer. McQuarrie shared that when Scott died, “the movie went away with it” for a while. Cruise also recalled this: 

We were scouting on Friday together. I was with Tony on Friday, and he passed on Sunday. It was horrible.

Jerry Bruckheimer also shared that they had even gone to Top Gun school together and spoken to numerous officers and aviators to gauge ideas for the sequel. It would have been incredible if Tony Scott had the opportunity to make another Top Gun film, but it wasn’t meant to be. Scott’s last film ended up being 2010’s Unstoppable, starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, which rounded out an incredible career . Scott directed 16 films in total, with other classics including True Romance, Domino and Man On Fire

We can look forward to the first reactions to Tom Cruise's next movie when Top Gun: Maverick remieres at the Cannes Film Festival this May, which will also feature a tribute to Cruise’s career as well. Maverick opens to the public on May 27.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.