Tom Cruise Shared Sweet Photos To Celebrate Top Gun Day, One From The Original Movie And Another From Maverick

Tom Cruise and Jennifr Connolly on a motorcycle in Top Gun Maverick
(Image credit: Paramount)

In less than two weeks, audiences can return with Tom Cruise to the cockpit of Naval aircrafts with Top Gun: Maverick. The sequel will mark a triumphant return for the action star to the title that became an iconic ‘80s film and an important moment for the dawn of his career. In anticipation for Maverick, Cruise celebrated Top Gun Day with a couple sweet throwback images.

Tom Cruise took to Instagram to celebrate the Top Gun national day with two photos of himself and Jerry Bruckheimer, who has been a pivotal producer to both movies. Check them out: 

In the caption, the actor said he “couldn’t ask for a better wingman” in Jerry Bruckheimer, while sharing two images of the pair from both films. The images are over thirty years apart and show off just how ride or die the filmmakers have been when telling the story of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. 

In the first Top Gun movie, Maverick’s wingman was Anthony Edwards’ Goose, but he unfortunately (and famously) dies over the course of the 1986 film. The upcoming sequel will follow Maverick all these years later, with the notable return of Val Kilmer’s Iceman, who Cruise rallied to get back for the upcoming movie. The two will also be joined by a host of franchise newcomers stars including Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris and Monica Barbaro. 

While National Top Gun Day was designated as May 13, it celebrates the anniversary of the release in 1986, which fell on May 16, 1986. This year marks the 36th anniversary of its release. When the now-classic film hit theaters, it debuted at No. 1 ahead of becoming the highest-grossing movie of that year over that year’s top five Crocodile Dundee, The Karate Kid Part II, Back To School and Aliens.

Maverick will be released during Memorial Day three-day weekend this May 27. The movie has already been screened for critics and has inspired overwhelmingly positive reviews thus far, including CinemaBlend’s own review of Top Gun: Maverick by Eric Eisenberg, who gave the movie a 4 out of 5 and called it a “thrill” and a “visceral cinematic experience.” 

The sequel initially began development back in 2010 with Top Gun’s director, Tony Scott, before he died two years later by suicide as the movie’s location scouting was underway. It wasn’t until 2017 that the movie got off the ground again, with Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski taking the helm. The movie filmed between mid 2018 and mid 2019, with initial plans to be released in summer 2019. 

The movie was delayed to 2020 the first time to allow the production to work out its complex flight sequences, but then COVID happened and it was delayed multiple times to ensure a theatrical release. Tom Cruise, Jerry Bruckheimer and co. seem quite proud of what they've made this time around, and it'll be exciting to take to the skies once more with this iconic franchise. 

As you celebrate Top Gun’s anniversary and get excited for the sequel, check out how to stream the original 1986 movie

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.