Why make a Top Gun sequel at all and why make it now? Tom Cruise's iconic Top Gun movie came out in 1986 and there's been talk about a sequel for a looooong time. It's been a rocky road to get here, but the skies are now clear for Top Gun: Maverick to enjoy a smooth June 26, 2020 landing. Fans seem to love what they've seen so far from the movie. As for why now? Well, it sounds like they wanted to let a generation pass so Top Gun 2 could follow Cruise's Maverick and the son of his late BFF Goose.
Top Gun closely followed Tom Cruise's Pete "Maverick" Mitchell and Anthony Edwards' Nick "Goose" Bradshaw. Goose died in that movie, but his son Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw is back as one of the main characters of Top Gun: Maverick, as played by Miles Teller.
Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski told EW the dynamic between Maverick and Rooster drives the whole movie:
The relationship between Maverick and Rooster really forms the emotional core and spine of the film. It was really one the key reasons Tom felt like that now this is the time to go back and do this.
Rooster had to be old enough to be a pilot like his father. Based on the previews we've seen for Top Gun: Maverick, Rooster seems to be a bit of a maverick himself -- hot-headed and intense. He even kinda looks like Maverick, more than Goose anyway.
I remember when Top Gun 2 was casting for Goose's son and it came down to Miles Teller and a few others, including Glen Powell. Powell ended up in the movie anyway as Hangman, but some fans thought he might get the gig because he more closely resembles Anthony Edwards. That's not the angle they were going for, though, and I'm curious to see how Miles Teller and Tom Cruise play off each other. Apparently it was tough for Teller to keep up with Cruise, which doesn't sound surprising since that seemed to be the case for all of the young stars, who were put through a grueling flight program Cruise designed himself.
Top Gun followed pilots entering the school for the first time, but Top Gun: Maverick follows Top Gun graduates coming back for a special training detachment. So they have a bit more experience and hopefully that will lead to even more kickass air shows. They even had to get permission from the Navy for one stunt, which certainly sounds ambitious.
Top Gun: Maverick has a lot of new additions to the cast, but Tom Cruise will be joined by Val Kilmer, whose role as Iceman is still being kept under wraps. Director Joseph Kosinski noted the "rivalry and relationship between Iceman and Maverick is one of those things that makes that first film so iconic." So he wants it to be a surprise to fans to "see how it's evolved."
Maybe that was another reason to wait 34 years for Top Gun to get a sequel -- maybe it took that long for Maverick and Iceman to warm up to each other? I'm curious to see how they relate to each other now.
Top Gun: Maverick will fly into theaters on June 26, as one of many movies to keep track of with our handy 2020 calendar.