Top Gun pilots are supposed to be the best of the best. They are the ones that you call when no one else can complete the job. So when the latest crop of high-flying, arrogant pilots need training, they rightfully wonder who on Earth is good enough to tell THEM what to do. Well, enter Maverick, a legendary Tom Cruise character we haven’t seen in decades… and who has had his own sequel delayed far too many times because of various factors that interfered with theatrical releases. Top Gun: Maverick currently is targeting a May 27 release date, and so a likely finally trailer has arrived promising combat sequences no audience has ever seen on screen before. Knowing Cruise, we can believe it.
The trailer for the upcoming sequel Top Gun: Maverick makes it perfectly clear that Tom Cruise’s often-disciplined Maverick character wasn’t the first choice of any top brass to return to the Navy flight school and train the elite pilots for a special mission. But this trailer clarifies that it’s Maverick’s one time rival, Iceman (Val Kilmer), who recommended him for the assignment. And we get a good look at Kilmer, back in character:
Joseph Kosinski has some familiarity working with Tom Cruise before, having collaborated with the A-lister on the underrated sci-fi drama Oblivion. It was on that movie that Cruise realized Kosinski was the right choice to helm the first Top Gun movie since 1986. It might seem easy top write off Top Gun: Maverick as the latest example of Legacy Greenlighting, where the film industry is eager to greenlight any project that dabbles in nostalgia. Put Cruise on a motorcycle while wearing Aviator sunglasses and pump up some Kenny Loggins, and watch the older audience flock in.
Only, Tom Cruise seems protective of his legacy. And he could stay very busy churning Mission: Impossible sequels (and arguing with the studio about when to release them). But he must believe in the story being told in Top Gun: Maverick to return to this classic role, then continue fighting for a theatrical release that meant several delays for the anticipated feature.
Well, Top Gun: Maverick will enjoy a debut at the Cannes Film Festival before rolling out in theaters on May 27. If it’s anything like the first 15 minutes of footage that we managed to see last August, we are all in for a serious treat.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.