Naturally it was to be expected that Tom Cruise would reprise Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the long-awaited Top Gun: Maverick, and shortly after the sequel began filming, it was confirmed that Val Kilmer would also be back as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky. Now it’s been revealed that another contributor from the original Top Gun is contributing to Maverick: editor Chris Lebenzon.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Lebenzon has been tapped to work on Top Gun: Maverick, making him the fourth person to be involved with both Top Gun movies, as Jerry Bruckheimer also returned to produce the sequel. As is the case with every film editor, Lebenzon will be working closely with Maverick’s director, Joseph Kosinski, whose credits include Tron: Legacy, Oblivion and Only the Brave.
Not only was 1986’s Top Gun was one of Chris Lebenzon’s earliest movies, it’s also one of the most special entries on his editing resume, as he and co-editor Billy Weber would later be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing. Claire Simpson would win that award for editing Platoon, but Top Gun would go on to win the Best Original Song Oscar and walked away with two other nominations.
Along with Chris Lebenzon would work with Top Gun director Tony Scott on other movies, like Beverly Hills Cop II and Crimson Tide, the latter of which earned him his second Best Film Editing Academy Award nomination. Lebenzon also frequently collaborates with Tim Burton (including most recently editing Dumbo), and his other credits include Armageddon, Gone in 60 Seconds and Geostorm.
Just like how it will be in real life when Top Gun: Maverick comes out, the sequel picks up 34 years after the original Top Gun, though at this point in his career Pete Mitchell is only a captain. A series of events lead to Tom Cruise’s character being relieved of duty as an active pilot and being sent to the Top Gun aviation school as its newest instructor, where he crosses paths with Miles Teller’s Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of his late friend, Nick “Goose” Bradshaw.
Top Gun: Maverick’s cast also includes Jennifer Connelly as the owner of the local bar who becomes Maverick’s new love interest, Ed Harris as Maverick’s superior officer and Jon Hamm as a three-star vice admiral, as well as Glenn Howerton, Monica Barbaro, Manny Jacinto and many others appearing as Rooster’s fellow trainees at the school.
Although a Top Gun sequel was first announced to be in development all the way back in 2010, the project encountered numerous setbacks and delays, including the tragic passing of Tony Scott. But by 2017, it finally started to gain steam, and Maverick began preliminary shooting in May 2018 and principal photography began that fall. Filming wrapped up this past April, but like a lot of major motion pictures, it’s possible the Maverick team could go back for reshoots.
Top Gun: Maverick flies into theaters on June 26, 2020, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. For now, keep track of what’s left to hit the big screen this year with our 2019 release schedule.