While we don’t know a lot about what Top Gun: Maverick will be about, what we do know is Tom Cruise is back and ready to ride into the danger zone yet again. Though as much as this new film is all about how Maverick deals with the here and now, there’s going to be plenty of deference paid to the past as well.
As such, characters from Top Gun past will either be returning or referenced through their descendants in Top Gun: Maverick. So when you’ve got Tom Skerritt in a room, and you think back to how his character Viper taught Maverick a lot of what he knew, you have to wonder if he’d be coming back as well? Good luck trying to get that information out of Skerritt himself, as he deflected a recent query with the following language:
I can't tell you anything about it, but there's a trailer out that is going to bring in a lot of ticket sales. It's almost a virtual reality experience to watch the trailer. They're not talking much about it. As Tom Cruise likes to say, ‘If I have to tell you, I'll kill you!'
Naturally, Top Gun fans are going to want to jump to the conclusion that Tom Skerritt’s Viper, who’s probably retired from his post as a chief instructor at Miramar by now, will most definitely be returning to the fold in director Joseph Kosinski’s follow-up to Tony Scott’s 1986 classic.
However, those remarks above aren’t exactly a promise that Top Gun: Maverick will be showing us a reunion between the two Toms. Let’s not forget, there is a shot in the trailer that shows Tom Cruise’s character at a particularly somber funeral. And as Skerritt himself said on Channel 7’s The Morning Show in Australia, there’s a lot presented in the trailer; so there’s a chance that we already have our answer.
While Tom Skerritt can’t say anything about involvement in the new film, it could also be because he knows Viper has been retired from his mortal coil, and will not be an active part in the film. Until we there’s still plenty of room to roam around the possibilities of Skerritt’s return to the Top Gun universe.
It’d be nice to see an older, wiser Maverick admitting to Tom Skerritt’s Viper that he was indeed guy back in the day, and that the lessons he learned through his instructor’s tutelage made him the pilot he is in Top Gun: Maverick. Though should such a scene happen, it’d be nice to also find out just why our hot shot fighter jockey hasn’t progressed past the rank of Captain.
There will be a lot of questions to be answered when Top Gun: Maverick takes to the skies on June 26, 2020. Meanwhile, if you’re feeling the need for speed in a more immediate context, you can take a look at the 2019 Release Schedule