Tom Cruise Top Gun

Tom Cruise’s Top Gun 2: Maverick as Maverick 30 Years Later ‘Not What People Are Going To Expect’

Now that the Tom Cruise Top Gun 2 rumors are confirmed, the buzz is all about Tom Cruise “playing Maverick as Maverick,” and how Top Gun 2 will “explore the culture clash between old school aviation and the new generation of unmanned drones.”

Tom Cruise as Maverick will be the “fossil,” instead of the hot shot, in a world where drones are quickly replacing top gun dog-fighting, and manned fighters are disappearing. Tom Cruise as a fossil? That’s difficult to imagine.

The Guardian reported a conversation between Collider and CEO David Ellison of Skydance, the Top Gun sequel producers. Ellison says that “every one knows with Tom [Cruise] as top gun Maverick, “he is 100% going to want to be in those airplanes, shooting it practically.”

Ellison might also feel some of that longing to by skyborne and fighting fit in an airplane instead of in an office. He grew up flying aerobatics with his father, and went on to accumulate “thousands of hours” at airshows in front of huge crowds from the time he was seventeen years old. Ellison described Top Gun as the “seminole movie of his childhood,” and when he was finished his career as an aerobatic top gun, he wanted to make movies like Tom Cruise’s Top Gun. What better choice than Top Gun 2?

Ellison intends to have fun with many of the modern warfare situations that the film will have to address. He says that the sequel is exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots,” and is looking forward to the getting to “dive into” what air force culture is today.

Several years ago, the now deceased top Top Gun director Tony Scott spoke with HitFix. He was concerned about the change in how war is waged, and the impersonal aspect of drone warfare. In the era of the original movie, pilots had to be constantly vigilant about alcohol and drugs, and though they partied hard, there were strict rules in place. Scott talked about the “computer geeks,” and “kids” who “play war games in a trailer in Fallon, Nevada and if we ever went to war or were in the Middle East or the Far East or wherever it is, these guys can actually fly drones. They are unmanned aircraft. They operate them and then they party all night.”

Scott also described meeting a young drone pilot and how that meeting inspired him to want to make a Top Gun sequel. The two were seated next to each other on the plane “and the guy sitting next to me was all hung over… in his late 20s, and he was one of those kids.” The kid told him he’d partied all night, and when Scott asked what he did for a living, it turned out he was a drone pilot.

“But they operate these drones like it’s war games, but it’s for real.”

Collider’s Matt Goldberg mused on the modern warfare situations that the film will have to address, calling it “a difficult line to walk.” He said that “drones are killing lots of people, and it’s a complex issue. We have the power to summon death from above with no risk to us. However, it also reduces the number of soldier we have to send to dangerous places. I’m not sure how a character like Maverick fits into that, but I’m curious to find out.”

Fans are curious too, and also excited that Tom Cruise is willing to come back all these years later.

Sam Frizzell, writing for Time, says it best.

“It’s almost enough to take your breath away.”

[Image via Moviestore Collection/REX/ The Guardian ]

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