It’s been over 30 years since Tom Cruise played the infallible Naval Aviator in the 1986 classic Top Gun, but if history is any guide, the Mission: Impossible star is not averse to sequels.
Top Gun: Maverick will hit theaters in 2019, with Cruise and Val Kilmer, Lieutenant “Iceman” Kazansky, reprising their respective roles in the highly anticipated action drama, along with a new set of co-stars. Director Joseph Kosinski, who previously directed Cruise’s in the 2013 sci-fi drama Oblivion, has experience making sequels decades after their original release, having directed 2010’s Tron: Legacy. Here’s what we know so far about long-developed follow-up film.
Cruise’s suited-up teaser shot
In May, the 55-year-old actor shared the first shot from the set of Top Gun: Maverick to his social media on “#Day1” of production. The action star poses as his character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Decked in his aviation gear and holding his helmet, Cruise gazes across the tarmac at a F-18 Tomcat (Maverick’s plane of choice in the original film).
Cruise labeled the picture “FEEL THE NEED,” referencing Maverick’s iconic quote, “I feel the need, the need for speed.” According to Variety, the Risky Business star’s character will now be an instructor.
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The movie will touch on the Navy’s evolution
In October, Kosinski told ComingSoon.net that the film would address how the Navy’s culture has changed.
“The Navy is very different now than it was in 1986,” he said. “Back then, they hadn’t been in any war for 15 or 20 years at that point. The tone of that movie and what those guys were doing was very different. Now, the Navy’s been at war for 20 years. It’s just a different world now, so you can’t remake the first movie. It has to adapt.”
“That being said, I certainly want to recreate the experience of that movie, which gives you a front-seat into the world of Naval aviation and what it’s like to be in a fighter jet,” he said. “The approach is going to be appropriate for the times we live in.”
The film will explore “a world of drone technology, fifth-generation fighters and the end of the era of dog-fighting,” according to Variety.
Miles Teller will play Goose’s son
In the original film, Goose dies in an accident and Maverick (Cruise) blames himself for the death. Prior to Goose’s tragic death, the pilot and Maverick were the ultimate dynamic duo known for their catchphrase, “I feel the need… the need for speed.”
Other actors considered for the role were Hidden Figures’ Glen Powell and X-Men’s Nicholas Hoult.
Glen Powell was cast… in a different role
Glen Powell, 29, took the news of his defeat to Teller with a grain of salt, tweeting shortly thereafter, “I’m taking down all the Tom Cruise posters in my bedroom. Maybe, I’ll leave one. Two for symmetry. Okay, the posters are staying.” Little did the Set It Up star know, he’d be starring in the film regardless.
Cruise and the producers were reportedly impressed with Powell and decided to cast him in a different role, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Details about the new role are not available just yet.
Another actor confirmed for an unknown role? Jennifer Connelly. The Only The Brave star, 47, is set to join the A-list cast, Deadline reported. Kelly McGillis, 60, who played astrophysicist and Cruise’s love interest, Charlotte Blackwood, won’t be joining her former cast after a long hiatus from Hollywood.
Top Gun: Maverick is scheduled for release on July 12, 2019.