This month marks 36 years since “Top Gun” was released. The melodrama, directed by Tony Scott, and starring Tom Cruise, was a massive success with audiences. It focuses on a select group of Navy pilot trainees, their rivalries, and relationships — all set against some of the most dangerous flying anywhere in the world. It made Tom Cruise a star and a rising star (via Men’s Journal) and launched countless pop culture memes.
“Top Gun: Maverick”, a movie set in the past, will tell the story of Cruise’s Captain Pete Mitchell. Mitchell returns to TOPGUN to train new pilots for a mission with a high risk that may be impossible to return to. Maverick must also deal with his past and face the possibility that flying, which he loves so much, may not be possible in the future.
In crafting the sequel, Cruise, director Joseph Kosinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and producer-screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (along with other scribes) had to consider one question before they started: What made “Top Gun” so special to fans back then?
Jon Hamm, who is playing the new character Admiral Beau Cyclone Simpson, said, “I think it defined what it meant for many kids in my generation.” “I was 15 years of age and I know that me and my friends and thought everything in that movie was amazing.”
Top Gun: Maverick was more than nostalgia
Jon Hamm, who spoke on the red carpet for the San Diego premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick,” said that the original “Top Gun”, while motivating some people to serve their country and expressing ideas that are still part of “Top Gun: Maverick,” was also an inspiration.
Hamm explained, “If you ask two of the naval veterans and aviators that we have here [Top Gun] inspired a whole new generation to join the Navy.” “I believe the lessons you learn as a naval pilot, sailor, or in any other military branch are about sacrifice. You learn about loyalty, teamwork, duty, responsibility, and all that it takes. These are the themes that we use in the film.
The filmmakers faced a challenge: how to use those themes, as well as the characters and settings from the original film, to create something new without making “Maverick” a nostalgic fest.
Justin Marks, who co-produced the film’s story, stated that “we knew going in it that if we’re doing it again, we must find some way of capturing that same lightning” “We wanted to keep the feelings we had from the original… but you have to find something new. I believe that’s what Tom [Cruise] was really trying to find.”
Marks said, “It’s all about how Top Gun makes us feel. You don’t want it to be the best movie ever… You want this to remind you of the movie that you love.” It has to create new legends.
“Top Gun: Maverick,” arrives in cinemas all over the country on May 27.