Tom Cruise is to put on his aviator shades once again and relive the role that made him a star of both the skies and the screen, according to former co-star Val Kilmer, who has confirmed that Top Gun 2 has been given the green light.
Top Gun was as much a part of the 80s as bad haircuts, ill-fitting clothes, and terrible music. The aviation classic was a Hollywood smash that inspired many a young man to join the armed forces in the hope of emulating Tom Cruise’s character — a cocky, pocket-sized, risk-taking wise guy who flies jets, rides bikes, makes out with hot blonde babes, takes no crap, and has a cool friend called “Goose.”
“Maverick,” as Tom Cruise is known in Top Gun, is the epitome of 80’s cool — self-absorbed, selfish, fickle, vain, insincere, macho, and compelled to act like a complete idiot at times, but all is forgiven because he’s one hell of a pilot with a cheeky toothy smile, a devil may care glint in his eye, and an awesome motorbike and leather jacket combo.
Maverick is the one all the guys want to be and all the gals want to be with, but it’s Cruise nemesis, the “Iceman,” played with relish by Val Kilmer, and who rubs Tom the wrong way for most of the film. The character strikes a chord with a lot of Top Gun fans who find Cruise’s character at times a tad cheesy and slightly annoying.
The Iceman believes Tom Cruise is dangerous and poses a sinister threat to his fellow immaculately uniformed pilots and just doesn’t like him in general because he’s “dangerous.”
Things come to a head between the polar opposites during a fierce and frantic bout of beach volleyball, where Maverick and his mustached mate Goose play against the Iceman and his blonde-headed and muscular sidekick who doesn’t really have any discernible identity of his own.
The famous volleyball match in Top Gun is filmed in such a way that it looks like a well put together advert for big male fun. Soundtracked by a song called “Playing with the Boys,” the four guys get competitive, show off their half-naked bodies to one another, and wrestle in the golden sands as they bond over a headlock or two.
Next thing we know Tom’s best friend Goose dies in a tragic air crash and Maverick becomes more maverick than ever before, making a point of “writing cheques his body can’t cash.”
However, all is not lost, and everything is made good before the film’s end when Maverick and the Iceman go into combat together and form a mutual bond of respect through blowing the hell out of things.
In the film’s closing scene, Iceman tenderly tells Maverick that he’s still dangerous, but he can be his wingman anytime. To which Maverick replies, “Bulls**t you can be mine.” They then hug and men everywhere break out in emotional applause.
Top Gun was always going to be a tough act to follow, and that’s probably why the original has been left unmolested all these years. But the good news is that it would appear that Val Kilmer, Tom Cruise, and Gene Hackman are all on board for the sequel, which will be directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
The Independent reports that in a bold late-night Facebook status, Kilmer confirmed that Top Gun 2 is no longer just a wing and a prayer but a stone cold reality.
“I just got offered Top Gun 2 – not often you get to say ‘yes’ without reading the script… |t’s starring Gene Hackman, and the director is Francis Coppola… Yes!
“Jerry Bruckheimer and Tom Cruise!!!! We will all miss Tony Scott, one of the kindest gentlemen I’ve ever met in the film biz, but let’s fire up some fighter jets again!!!”
Yes, Val, let’s! “This is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby.”
[Photo by Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images]