‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Plot, Release Date: Tom Cruise Competes With Military Drones, Val Kilmer Wants In

Jamie McCarthyGetty

Tom Cruise is ready to suit up and reprise his role as Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun 2. The actor confirmed that a sequel to the 1986 Top Gun movie is in the works and will begin filming soon.

In an interview with Access Hollywood, Cruise revealed that the title for the sequel is Top Gun: Maverick, named after his character. He explained that he didn’t want a number attached to the sequel’s title.

Cruise also teased that the sophomore film will be similar in tone with its successor. The same musical score composed by Harold Faltermayer will also be used in the sequel. While it will continue to be a “competition film like the first one,” it will also show “a progression for Maverick.”

Although Cruise did not go into the details of the Top Gun: Maverick plot, producer Jerry Bruckheimer teased that Maverick will compete against military drones in the sequel, HuffPost reported.

“The concept is, basically, are the pilots obsolete because of drones. Cruise is going to show them that they’re not obsolete. They’re here to stay,” Bruckheimer hinted about the potential storyline.

Speaking to Collider, Skydance CEO David Ellison also said the same idea, explaining the Top Gun: Maverick plot will revolve around drone technology and how it might lead to the end of the world of dogfighting.

“As everyone knows with Tom, he is 100% going to want to be in those airplanes shooting it practically. When you look at the world of dogfighting, what’s interesting about it is that it’s not a world that exists to the same degree when the original movie came out. This world has not been explored. It is very much a world we live in today where it’s drone technology and fifth generation fighters are really what the United States Navy is calling the last man-made fighter that we’re actually going to produce so it’s really exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today are all fun things that we’re gonna get to dive into in this movie.”

Top Gun 2 has been in the making for 30 years, but serious discussions about the project only took place in 2010. Development for the film, however, was halted in 2012 when original Top Gun director Tony Scott died after committing suicide in Los Angeles.

Tom Skerritt and Tony Scott attend Top Gun screening.
Actor Tom Skerritt and director Tony Scott at the Tom Gun screening during A Cinematic Celebration Of Jerry Bruckheimer event.Featured image credit: Alexandra WymanGetty

In 2014, Bruckheimer and Cruise picked up the project and developed what would become Top Gun: Maverick. The duo also collaborated with Jungle Book screenwriter Justin Marks to create the story centered on the now-older Maverick.

Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski, who worked with Cruise in Oblivion, is reportedly the top choice to helm the sequel.

For now, only Tom Cruise has been confirmed to join the Top Gun: Maverick cast. It remains uncertain whether other stars such as Meg Ryan and Kelly McGillis will return to portray their respective roles. Val Kilmer, on the other hand, who appeared as Maverick’s rival Tom “Iceman” Kazanski, has been heavily campaigning on social media to reprise his role.

On Instagram, the 57-year-old actor wrote, “I’m ready Tom – still got my top gun plaque,” and adding that he “still got the moves.”

Val Kilmer at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival
Val Kilmer attending the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. [Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]Featured image credit: Jason MerrittGetty Images

With Kilmer expressing his interest in participating in the sequel, Cruise teased that Top Gun: Maverick may recreate some of the most iconic scenes from the original film, such as the steamy volleyball scene that featured shirtless Cruise and Kilmer.

According to Cruise, they might begin shooting for Top Gun: Maverick in 2017. The release date for the film hasn’t been set yet. The movie will also be in 3D and IMAX.

Top Gun was the highest-grossing film in 1986. It also won an Oscar for Best Original Song for “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin.

Meanwhile, Tom Cruise is actively promoting his latest film, The Mummy. It is the first movie in Universal’s Dark Universe, which revives classic monster films from the studio’s collection in an attempt to compete with the likes of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe.

The Mummy also stars Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, and Russell Crowe.

[Featured Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]