Viewing Top Gun: Maverick was an emotional experience for people who grew up loving the original film. The sequel pays respects to the 1986 film in many ways while also building something new that’s excited audiences all over the world.
One of the most emotional moments came when Tom Cruise’s Maverick got to reunite with Iceman himself, Val Kilmer. The genuine bond on display in the scene could be felt by every member of the audience. Naturally, it became one of the most talked about scenes in the film.
Director of Top Gun: Maverick, Joseph Kosinski recently sat down for a conversation with Forbes. He took a chance to describe what it was like on set to see the two friends reunite after so many years.
“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,” Kosinski said. “I don’t think they had seen each other much. 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.”
Kosinski said the scene was “beautifully written” and that their performances were showed they were still both at the “top of their game.”
“We didn’t shoot a lot of takes of the scene,” Kosinski said. “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.”
What Brought Tom Cruise Back to ‘Top Gun’?
Top Gun: Maverick is clearly a deeply personal project for Cruise. With so many years since the original Top Gun, it was seen as a risk to take on a sequel. What if the general audience had forgotten about these characters? Kosinski spoke about Cruise’s mindset before taking on the role and why he waited so long to make sure it was right.
“I think it was about the story’s emotion,” Kosinski said. “The thing that I think Tom was waiting for was an emotional hook that would pull him back into this character and this notion of having to train his wingman’s son for a mission that would likely kill him. There was a lot there that he could dig into. So I think the emotional hook of that storyline was a big part of it.
Cruise is known for taking on projects with an eye for stepping up his stuntwork. Even at 60 years old, the megastar still likes to push the envelope. Top Gun: Maverick was shot practically for most of its thrilling sequences. Cruise himself called the shoot “grueling” at times. But the results speak for themselves. The film is handily the most successful of the year.