Top Gun: Maverick’s Director Reveals Which Scene From The Tom Cruise Sequel Was The Hardest To Film

Tom Cruise as Maverick riding a motorcycle
(Image credit: Paramount)

Top Gun: Maverick shouldn't have worked as well as it did by all past standards of measures when it comes to legacy sequels. It was a sequel released almost four decades after the original. Still, from its initial reception to wide release, Maverick proved to be a sequel delivering everything you want from a blockbuster. Part of what drew moviegoers to the cinema in flocks was the willingness of the Tom Cruise-helmed action movie to put in a level of effort big tentpole franchises don't often take the time to do anymore. The movie's director, Joseph Kosinski, has opened up about the effort put into the movie, and revealed which of the scenes was the hardest to achieve in the blockbuster sequel, and it's not one you'd probably initially guess.

In an interview with The Wrap, Kosinski revealed that though years went into the planning and staging the complex aerial sequences, it was a much more seemingly simple shot that was the most difficult to capture. The scene in question is where Penny (played by Jennifer Connelly) takes Maverick out on her boat.

That sequence was in some ways the hardest to get because it was largely out of our control. We're relying on wind to make the sequence great, and we had to go find wind. I think the audience feels that effort when they see the film. That's why I think people respond to it, because it wasn't shot on stage. It was a movie where we went out there and tried to capture as much as we could for real. And you can feel that when you're watching it.

And respond to it audiences did. Top Gun: Maverick had an impressive box office run. The movie opened at No.1 and stayed in the top ten for an almost unheard-of 20 more weeks, becoming the fifth-highest-grossing domestic release of all time. The film broke a wild record for Paramount and was the biggest box-office hit of Tom Cruise's career

Its clear moviegoers were drawn to the filmmaker's insistence on capturing as much practical aerial footage (and in this case nautical sequences) as possible. This meant the actors had to work as their own cockpit cinematographers for many of the aerial scenes, giving the movie a sense of life and weight that is hardly on display in summer blockbusters these days. No wonder the high-octane movie soared past $1 billion and became a worldwide phenomenon. 

The only question is, what's next for the franchise? After such a warm audience reception and breaking box-office records left and right, is a third Top Gun possible? Well, Maverick star Miles Teller says he and Tom Cruise have discussed it, and Jay Ellis also revealed four things the Maverick cast would want to see in a third film. At this point, another Top Gun seems like a no-brainer for the studio and the stars. If a Top Gun 3 does happen, let's hope the filmmakers don't have to face as challenging a sequence as the one on Penny's boat. No one likes waiting for mother nature to get their shot! 

Top Gun: Maverick is available to rent or purchase on home video. For all your movie-going plans, stay tuned to CinemaBlend and check out our list of upcoming movie releases.

Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing.