Wait, Why Is Today Top Gun Day?

Tom Cruise as Pete Mitchell in Top Gun

If you’ve gone on Twitter today, you might’ve noticed the hashtag #TopGunDay circulating. Yes, the 1986 movie starring Tom Cruise as naval aviator Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is generating a lot of chatter today, with fans sharing favorite memories, bits of trivia, quotes and more. That’s all fine and dandy, but there’s just one question: why has today of all days been deemed Top Gun Day?

Before we answer that, check out the below video to both get in the Top Gun Day spirit with clips from both the original movie and the upcoming sequel, Top Gun: Maverick.

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Do you feel the need now? Sorry, to be more specific, the need for speed? Okay, with that out of the way, let’s clear something up: Top Gun was released in the United States on May 16, 1986. So logically, you’d think that Top Gun Day would fall on the same day, right?

Well, over at the Top Gun Day website, the reasoning behind this beloved(?) holiday falling on May 13 was initially attributed to May 16 already being taken by Iron Eagle Day, which honors another aviation-themed movie released in 1986. As it turns out though, there isn’t actually an Iron Eagle Day, and even if there were, that would surely fall on January 17, its original release date.

No, the real reason Top Gun Day is happening today is due to some graphics screw-ups, and by the time the errors were noticed, it would too late to reschedule. The upside is that Top Gun fans can celebrate for a few extra days before the movie’s true 34th anniversary on Saturday. That being said, if Top Gun Day is held again next year, I’m curious if it will remain on May 13 or be moved to the more properly-fitting May 16.

In addition to being an ‘80s nostalgia fest, Top Gun was also quite the commercial hit during its time in theaters, making over $358 million worldwide off a reported $15 million budget. Tom Cruise was joined in the movie by Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt and Michael Ironside, among many others.

While Tom Gun stood as a standalone story for over two decades, at the start of last decade, plans to make a sequel started unfolding. Now we’re closer than ever to seeing the final product, with Top Gun: Maverick now set to arrive at the end of the year, having previously been dated for June 24. Joseph Kosinski directed the feature, and scripting duties were handled by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie.

The sequel will see Pete Mitchell training a detachment of Top Gun graduates on a specialized mission. Along with Val Kilmer reprising Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, Top Gun: Maverick’s cast includes Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glenn Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, Monica Barbaro, Charles Parnell, Danny Ramirez and Manny Jacinto, among others.

Top Gun: Maverick flies into theaters on December 23, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. In the meantime, keep track of other movies set to come out later this year with our 2020 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.