Top Gun: Maverick

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Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun Maverick Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoseph Kosinski
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyClaudio Miranda
Edited by
Music by
Production
companies
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release dates
Running time
131 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$152 million[2]

Top Gun: Maverick is a 2022 American action drama film directed by Joseph Kosinski. It was written by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie, from a story conceived by Peter Craig and Justin Marks. The sequel to Top Gun (1986), the film stars Tom Cruise as Captain Peter "Maverick" Mitchell, a test pilot, alongside Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, and Val Kilmer. Cruise and Kilmer reprise their roles from the first film. Top Gun: Maverick is dedicated to Top Gun director Tony Scott, who died in 2012.[3]

Top Gun: Maverick premiered at CinemaCon on April 28, 2022, and is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on May 27, 2022, by Paramount Pictures. It was scheduled for release on July 12, 2019, but was postponed to "allow the production to work out all the complex flight sequences".[4] The film was further delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and scheduling conflicts. The film received critical acclaim, with praise for the cinematography, aerial flight sequences and emotional weight.[5]

Plot[edit]

Test pilot Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell has purposely dodged an advancement in rank after thirty-six years of service. One day Maverick is called to be put in charge of training a group of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission under the orders of his fellow naval aviator friend and former rival, Admiral Tom "Iceman" Kazansky, who is the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Among them is Lieutenant Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, the son of Maverick's late best friend Nick "Goose" Bradshaw.[6]

When Maverick arrives, he is told by his commanding officers that the elite group of Top Gun pilots have been assembled for a special mission against a hostile mountainous nation (unnamed in the film) which has started to make facilities for enriched uranium. The assembled team under Maverick is charged with the duty of preemptively destroying the uranium facility inspite of its highly peculiar location deep inside a mountainous canyon protected by multiple SAM sites surrounding it. Maverick meets the team of elite pilots who greet him coldly. One of the pilots is called "Hangman" and he cynically keeps his distance from the other pilots, including Maverick. Another of the pilots is the son, called "Rooster", of Maverick's old friend "Goose" who had died while with Maverick when they were both at Top Gun school thirty years earlier. There is high tension between the two when they meet, which at times breaks out into vented hostility and fist fights. When the training begins and the pilots see Maverick's skills while flying during training dogfights, the other pilots begin to re-assess their skepticism about Maverick and some of them grow to appreciate Maverick's talent for air combat.

Maverick meets with his old rival "Iceman" who has become an Admiral since Maverick last saw him thirty years ago. The Admiral has been plagued by severe health issues but finds the strength to tell Maverick of the gravity of the mission and the importance he associates with the successful completion of this mission. Maverick takes the words to heart and presents a mission plan to the high command charged to supervise the mission. Maverick tells them that he recommends a four jet mission of two F-14 Tomcats, each with a separate F-18 Hornet escort. The four fighters would launch from an aircraft carrier and fly low to the ground to avoid detection by multiple SAM radar sites known to exist before the mountainous canyon is reached. If successful, the low altitude approach will require a perilously steep ascent once the mountains are reached, and subsequent descent into the canyon, pushing the limits of the jet engine performance to require a 9.5 "G"-force accelaration, two "G"s above specified maximum performance. Once the dangerous maneuver is accomplished, the jets are to acquire their target and bomb the uranium enrichment facility to destroy it before withdrawing. The elite pilots are trained by Maverick to see which of them can endure the high-"G" maneuvers required for the mission.

The final pilot crews are assembled and the mission is launched with Maverick in command. The low altitude approach works and they evade SAM missiles from locking on their approach. The high-"G" maneuver works once they reach the canyon, where the uranium enrichment facility is aquired and destroyed. However, the destruction of the enrichment facility blows their undetected approach, and the enemy begins scrambling fifth generation fighter squads to seek and destroy Marerick's four jet team of pilots. Although confident of his own abilities at dogfights, Maverick sees that "Rooster" is about to be destroyed by hostile attacking jets. Unable to see any other option he comits to saving "Rooster" by executing a dangerous maneuver which will sacrifice his own jet. He sacrifices his own jet and saves "Rooster" who is able to continue back to the carrier. Maverick manages to eject before his jet is lost and is now alone behind enemy lines. While collecting himself and checking his equipment, an enemy helicopter closes in on him. Suddenly, the enemy helicopter is blown up in the sky, when Maverick sees that "Rooster" has returned in his jet to save Maverick. However, in doing so, Rooster's jet is destroyed by enemy fire and Rooster must now eject after having saved Maverick. Maverick then finds him and the two begin to scout the area to see if there is an escape route available.

In the clearing they spot an enemy airbase with multiple unattended enemy fighters and one reconditioned F-14 which does not seem to belong to the enemy fighter group. They decide to risk everything to hijack the stray F-14 in order to try to return to the carrier. They are quickly picked up on radar while in the air and trying to escape, and Maverick is able to engage with them without missiles and destroys them. Now out of ammunition, a third enemy jet finds them on radar and closes in on Maverick and Rooster to destroy them. Suddenly, Maverick sees the approaching enemy jet explode in a burst of fire when he also spots "Hangman" having returned to find and locate Maverick and Rooster, who were not returning with the other departing jets after the completion of the bombing mission. They form up in the air and head back to the carrier. Upon arrival at the carrier, the pilots celebrate the return of Maverick and the other pilots. Maverick is congratulated for the success and valor he had shown in the completion of his mission.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Development of the film began in 2010 when Paramount Pictures made offers to Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott to make a sequel to Top Gun. Christopher McQuarrie had also received an offer to write the sequel's screenplay, which was rumored to have Tom Cruise's character Maverick in a smaller role.[9] Peter Craig,[10] Justin Marks,[11] who described the film as a dream project,[12] Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz[13] would be credited as screenwriters on the project.

When asked about his idea for a new Top Gun film, Scott replied, "This world fascinated me, because it's so different from what it was originally. But I don't want to do a remake. I don't want to do a reinvention. I want to do a new movie."[14] The film will reportedly focus on the end of the dogfighting era[11] and the role of drones in modern aerial warfare[10] and that Cruise's character, Maverick, will fly an F/A-18 Super Hornet.[15] After Scott's suicide, the sequel's future remained in question, but producer Jerry Bruckheimer remained committed to the project, especially given Cruise's and Kilmer's interest.[16][17]

In June 2017, Cruise revealed that the title would be Top Gun: Maverick, with Harold Faltermeyer returning as composer for the sequel. Cruise further stated that, "Aviators are back, the need for speed. We're going to have big, fast machines. It's going to be a competition film, like the first one … but a progression for Maverick."[18] Later the same month, it was confirmed that the film would be directed by Joseph Kosinski, while no title was officially confirmed.[19][20]

Musician Kenny Loggins has confirmed that his song "Danger Zone", which was used in the first film, will be featured in the sequel.[21] In October 2018, it was reported that Hans Zimmer would also compose for the film alongside Harold Faltermeyer.[22] On April 27, 2022, Lady Gaga announced that she had written and recorded the song "Hold My Hand" which would serve as the film's theme song. The song, released as a single on May 3, was co-written with Benjamin Rice and BloodPop.[23]

On June 19, 2019, at CineEurope in Barcelona, attendees were able to watch for the first time some early footage of the film from a special Paramount presentation. During the presentation the President of International Theatrical Distribution Mark Viane and co-president of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution Mary Daily appeared in flight clothes.[24]

Casting[edit]

Tom Cruise stars as Maverick, a character he first played in 1986

Cruise's involvement in Top Gun: Maverick was first announced in January 2016.[25] Val Kilmer had campaigned on his social media page that he would like to reprise his role in the film,[26] and by June 2018, The Wrap reported that he would appear in the film.[27] While Bruckheimer and the filmmakers wanted to bring Kilmer back, Cruise was the one who tirelessly insisted in bringing back Kilmer to reprise his role.[28] In the new trailer, released in March 2022, there was shown a photograph of Kilmer wearing a uniform of a four-star admiral. In July 2018, Miles Teller was cast in the role of Goose's son, against Nicholas Hoult and Glen Powell. All three were flown to Cruise's home for chemistry tests.[29] Later that month, Jennifer Connelly joined the film's cast to play a single mother running a bar near the naval base.[30][31]

In August 2018, Powell joined the cast of the film in a pilot trainee role that was enlarged for him, having impressed Cruise, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, as well as executives at Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media, with his auditions.[32] That same month, Monica Barbaro, Thomasin McKenzie, Charles Parnell, Jay Ellis, Bashir Salahuddin, Danny Ramirez, Ed Harris, Jon Hamm and Lewis Pullman joined the cast of the film with Barbaro, Ellis, and Ramirez portraying pilot trainees and McKenzie portraying Connelly's daughter.[33][34][35] In September 2018, Manny Jacinto joined the cast of the film.[36] In October 2018, Kara Wang, Jack Schumacher, Greg Tarzan Davis, Jake Picking, Raymond Lee, Jean Louisa Kelly and Lyliana Wray joined the cast of the film.[37] Additionally, McKenzie was forced to drop out of the film after signing onto Lost Girls.[38] In November 2018, Chelsea Harris joined the cast of the film in an undisclosed role.[39]

According to Kelly McGillis, who appeared in the original film, she was not asked to appear in the sequel.[40]

Filming[edit]

Preliminary production on the film officially started on May 30, 2018, in San Diego, California.[41][42] During late August a 15-person film crew from Paramount and Bruckheimer Films were aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to shoot flight deck operations.[43][44] In mid-February 2019, Cruise and the production crew were sighted on board USS Theodore Roosevelt at NAS North Island.[45] In March, filming was completed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Washington.[citation needed]

On June 19, 2019, Miles Teller revealed in an interview that he had finished filming two days earlier.[46] Principal photography was scheduled until April 15, 2019, in San Diego, California; Lemoore, California; China Lake, California;[47] Lake Tahoe, California;[48] Seattle, Washington;[49] and Patuxent River, Maryland.[citation needed]

The movie was filmed in IMAX format using IMAX-Certified Sony Venice 6K Full Screen cameras.[50]

Music[edit]

The soundtrack for the film includes two new songs, "Hold My Hand" by Lady Gaga and "I Ain't Worried" by OneRepublic. They were released as singles on May 3, 2022, and May 13, 2022, respectively.[51] Gaga also composed the score alongside Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe, and Harold Faltermeyer.[52] The soundtrack album will be released on May 27, 2022 by Interscope Records.[53]

Marketing[edit]

The film's first teaser trailer premiered during a surprise appearance by Cruise at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con on July 18, 2019.[54][55]

The first trailer received high praise from fans, with many lauding the return of the series and some comparing it to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.[56] The Hollywood Reporter wrote that some fans noticed that the flag of the Republic of China (the flag used by the government of Taiwan) and the Flag of Japan were missing from the bomber jacket of Cruise's character and accused Paramount of removing it to appease China-based co-financier Tencent Pictures.[57]

In February 2020, toy manufacturer Matchbox company (owned by Mattel) announced that they were releasing a series of Top Gun die-cast models and products, including an F-14 Tomcat, Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, North American P-51 Mustang and role play items. They were scheduled for public release on June 1, 2020, despite the delayed theatrical release.[58]

In June 2020, plastic model manufacturer Revell company released a series of 1/48 scale Top Gun plastic models, including an F-14A Tomcat and an F/A-18E Super Hornet based upon the aircraft in the movie. These are versions of previous Revell offerings with modified decals and markings.[59] In July 2020, Hasbro announced a Top Gun themed Transformers toy, "Maverick", which released later in the year.[60]

In August 2021, the first 13 minutes of the film were previewed at CinemaCon along with a new trailer with Tom Cruise marking his presence virtually at the event.[61]

In February 2022, the final trailer of the film tied to Porsche was aired before Super Bowl LVI.[62]

In April 2022, Project ACES, the developers of the Ace Combat series, announced the release of an aircraft collaboration DLC for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown with Top Gun: Maverick on their official Twitter, with more details to follow at an unspecified date.

Release[edit]

Top Gun: Maverick is scheduled to be released in theaters on May 27, 2022.[63] It was originally scheduled to be released by Paramount Pictures on July 12, 2019. In August 2018, it was delayed to June 26, 2020, to "allow the production to work out all the complex flight sequences".[4] On March 2, 2020, Paramount moved the film up two days early on June 24, 2020.[64] On April 2, 2020, it was delayed to December 23 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic declared by the World Health Organization.[65][66] On July 23, 2020, the film was delayed again to July 2, 2021, due in part to scheduling conflicts with Cruise, as well as the recent delays of Mulan and Tenet due to the rise of COVID-19 cases.[67] In April 2021, the film was delayed again to November 19, 2021.[68] On September 1, 2021, the film was delayed once more, this time to May 27, 2022.[63]

The film had its world premiere at CinemaCon on April 28, 2022. A global premiere was hosted at the San Diego Civic Theatre in San Diego, California, on May 4. It will also have a screening at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18 in an Official Selection Screening. The Cannes premiere will include a tribute to Cruise and his career.[69][70] Both Netflix and Apple TV+ reportedly attempted to purchase the distribution rights to the film, but Paramount refused to sell them; Bruckheimer, when asked about them and other streaming services attempting to purchase the distribution rights to the film at the film's premiere at CinemaCon, said that there was no other option and that the film had always been a big-screen destination.[71][72]

Reception[edit]

Box office projections[edit]

In the United States and Canada, Top Gun: Maverick is set to be released alongside The Bob's Burgers Movie, and is projected to gross $95–130 million in its opening weekend.[73]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 97% of 90 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.5/10. The website's consensus reads, "Top Gun: Maverick pulls off a feat even trickier than a 4G inverted dive, delivering a long-belated sequel that surpasses its predecessor in wildly entertaining style."[74] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 81 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[75]

Pete Hammond of Deadline Hollywood praised the film, saying that it "tops the original in every way imaginable".[76]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]