‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Director Compares Film’s Success to ’80s Blockbusters

by Craig Garrett

Top Gun: Maverick is the biggest movie of the year, making its director Joseph Kosinski one of the most successful people in Hollywood. The blockbuster is the biggest of Tom Cruise’s prolific career. It’s made $1.4 billion at the box office and is now streaming on demand. Kosinski reflects on the film’s incredible success in a new interview with Forbes.

The director credits Top Gun: Maverick’s incredible returns to a few throwback principles. “There is no secret. It was a lot of hard work by an incredibly talented group of people. It was the right story with the right cast and crew at the right time, Kosinski explained.

However, the director also points out that the audience was in a unique headspace following COVID-19 lockdowns. “We were very lucky and fortunate that people went back to the movies to see our film,” he said. “In many cases, [the audience] went back again and again. The director believes seeing movies in the theater has officially come back in full force. “I think it has, and it’s just been a great summer for movies.”

Top Gun: Maverick enjoyed a run like back in the 80s, according to its director

Kosinski acknowledges that Top Gun: Maverick owes some of its success to being in theaters all summer. Of course, a film doesn’t do that anymore. “This is how movies used to play in the 80s, Kosinski points out. “[producer] Jerry Bruckheimer would tell me stories about [movies he produced sitting] in theaters all summer long.” The filmmaker said that it was extra special working alongside original Top Gun star and producer Cruise and Bruckheimer. “Seeing this happen has been pretty phenomenal,” Kosinski gushed.

Perhaps the most talked about scene of Top Gun: Maverick is the reunion of Iceman and Maverick. Seeing Val Kilmer return to the role delighted fans. Seeing the veteran actors back together added gravity to the scene for Kosinski. “That’s exactly what I felt like on the day. It was two men who had a long friendship and a tremendous amount of respect for each other, professionally and personally, and it was a reunion of sorts. They had gone off and had these incredible careers that were very separate, and to come back over 30 years later, in these roles as these iconic characters that were so important to both of them and defined them in their careers, there was just a lot of emotion.

Not only was it emotional, but important to the story of Top Gun: Maverick. “The scene itself was beautifully written, and their performances in it are them both at the absolute top of their game,” Kosinski said. “We didn’t shoot a lot of takes of the scene. It was like one of those scenes where they were firing right from the start, and I think what you feel in that scene is genuine. I think that’s why it has resonated with people.”