Director Joseph Kosinski shares a story from the set of Top Gun: Maverick that essentially proves Tom Cruise and his character aren’t so different.
Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski shares a flying story from the set that proves just how much like Maverick Tom Cruise really is. Released more than 35 years after Tony Scott’s original film, Top Gun: Maverick sees Cruise’s hotshot pilot, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, training a new batch of fighter pilots for a dangerous mission over enemy territory. The sequel earned rave reviews from audiences and critics alike, with particular praise levied at the movie’s thrilling air combat sequences. Top Gun: Maverick was also a big hit at the box office, earning over $1.488 billion worldwide.
In a recent piece for Deadline, Kosinski shares behind-the-scenes stories from the Top Gun: Maverick set, including one that shows just how dedicated Cruise was to making the sequel as good as it could possibly be. The director recalls just how draining it was for the actors to experience 6 Gs and above in the fighter jets for long periods of time, revealing that, even pushing it to two runs – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – could result in exhaustion and sickness. On a particularly nice day, however, Cruise went for three runs in the jet to capture as much of the clear weather on camera as possible. Check out Kosinski’s full story below:
“You’re pulling 6, 7, 7.5 Gs in the jet, and that’s incredibly draining. The actors were wiped out. Some days, we would have the actors fly in the morning and the afternoon and that’s when people would get sick. People would be just exhausted. It was really, really difficult. Even for the real pilots themselves, that’s a lot of work. One day the weather was so beautiful, Tom came up to me and said, ‘I think I should go three times today.’ He’s like, ‘Joe, when you see this footage, you’re going to be blown away.’ So, Tom went up and shot his third act sequence, which is the big bombing run. He came back, and it was the last debrief of the day. I think all the other pilots had gone back to their trailers, and Tom came in and he collapsed in a chair, and he had his black Ray-Bans on. I said, ‘Tom, how’d you do?’ And he said, ‘We crushed it.’ It was very Maverick/Tom Cruise. Is there a difference?”
How Tom Cruise Improved Top Gun: Maverick
In addition to bringing that classic Cruise sense of style and charisma, the actor, who also served as a producer, is a large part of why Top Gun: Maverick turned out so well. The actor revealed previously that he had been approached numerous times since the original Top Gun in 1986 to do a sequel, but he turned it down because he felt like any follow-up film would have to be filmed as practically as possible, improving on what was done in the first movie. When movie-quality cameras became small enough to fit in a cockpit, the sequel finally moved forward, with Cruise leading the way in terms of getting a new cast of actors into actual fighter jets and up in the air.
Before filming even began, Cruise ensured that the new cast members, including Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Monica Barbaro, Lewis Pullman, Jay Ellis, and Danny Ramirez, were ready to fly (and film themselves while doing it), putting them through what was later dubbed “Tom Cruise Boot Camp”. This dedication to filming action as practically as possible is now a hallmark of all of Cruise’s movies, including his successful Mission: Impossible films. Kosinski’s story further proves that Cruise is wholly dedicated to entertaining the masses, working harder than just about anyone in Hollywood to achieve a level of blockbuster filmmaking quality that has, these days, become something of a rarity.
Will Tom Cruise Return In Top Gun 3?
With Top Gun: Maverick becoming such a massive success, one would think that a sequel is all but guaranteed, but, so far at least, that’s not been the case. Various cast members, including most recently Powell, have provided optimistic updates on the status of a prospective Top Gun 3, but it seems like the ball is truly in Cruise’s court in terms of whether the film happens or not. It’s hard to imagine a third film happening without Cruise’s character, but the actor currently has a very busy schedule for the next few years, finishing up the Mission: Impossible franchise before he blasts off into outer space to film a movie aboard the ISS. If Top Gun 3 does happen with Maverick returning, it’s looking like it’s still a handful of years away.
More: Why Top Gun 2’s Romance Worked Where The Original Movie’s Failed
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