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Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

It’s been over 30 years since the original Top Gun came out, and while Tom Cruise has taken on various other roles in that time, including leading the Mission: Impossible franchise as Ethan Hunt, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell remains one of his most well-known characters. So needless to say that a lot of folks were excited when it was announced he’d be reprising the cocky pilot in Top Gun: Maverick, and when the time came for Cruise to don the flight suit again, his co-stars appropriately commemorated the occasion.

As actor Glen Powell, who plays trainee “Hangman” in Top Gun: Maverick, recalled:

I remember the first time he put on his flight suit, the Maverick flight suit and helmet, and we all started singing the Top Gun theme song. It was like a magical moment, ‘cause the guy hadn’t put on that suit in 30 years, and all of a sudden, he’s back. And I think that’s what’s gonna really surprise audiences, not only being sentimental about it all, but how we raise the bar.

To clarify, when Glen Powell says the “Top Gun theme song” during his interview with the Associated Press, does he mean they were melodizing the “Top Gun Anthem” by Harold Faltermeyer, or were they actually belting out Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”? Either way, I can’t blame the other Top Gun: Maverick actors for celebrating Tom Cruise getting back in flying duds in such a way. And considering the way Cruise ages, or lack thereof, he barely looks any different from when we first saw him onscreen as Maverick in 1986.

As for raising the bar, we’ll have to wait until Top Gun: Maverick is actually playing on the silver screen to determine if that was done successfully, but there certainly was a lot of effort poured into making it happen. For instance, while it would have been easy enough to have the jets in Maverick be CGI creations, Tom Cruise was adamant that the only way he’d do the sequel is if he got to truly fly. As a result, the actors went through “thrilling, but very physically grueling” flight training.

Since Glen Powell is just one member of Top Gun: Maverick’s large cast, it remains to be seen how his character specifically fits into the story. That being said, Powell did reveal earlier this month that “Hangman” takes part in a football game that’s reminiscent of the volleyball game from the original Top Gun, and director Joseph Kosinski told Powell that he’d be “immortalized in a gif” if did his part in the scene correctly. That’s something else to be on the lookout for while watching Maverick.

After spending 30 years as once of the Navy’s top aviators, Top Gun: Maverick sees Pete Mitchell training a group of Top Gun graduates for a special mission. Among these trainees under his supervision is Miles Teller’s Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Mitchell’s best friend, Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, who tragically perished in the original Top Gun.

Along with Val Kilmer reprising Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, Top Gun: Maverick’s cast includes Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, Monica Barbaro, Charles Parnell, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez and Manny Jacinto. Filming on the sequel began in May 2018, and principal photography concluded in April 2019.

Top Gun: Maverick is now flying into theaters on Wednesday June 24, two days earlier than the previous release date. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more coverage and be sure to look through our 2020 release schedule to learn what other movies open later this year.

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