‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Director Speaks on What Convinced Tom Cruise to Do the Sequel

by Joe Rutland

Director Joseph Kosinski had the undeniably difficult task of getting Tom Cruise to sign on board for Top Gun: Maverick. Oh, if they knew how successful it was going to be at the box office, then there might not have been so much hard work here. The hard work would come in the making of this film and getting the lead actor to appear. But Kosinski is quite open and transparent about what it did take to convince Cruise to do this sequel.

“I think it was about the story’s emotion,” Kosinski said in an interview with Forbes. “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.

Director of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Was Looking For Practical Way To Shoot Film

“There was also the idea of figuring out a way to shoot this film practically,” he said. “He had done aerial sequences in other films for years. I had been working in aerial sequences in films, including one with him called Oblivion, trying to find different ways to shoot them, cover them, and make them exciting.

“It just felt like the right time because the technology reached a point where we thought we might be able to pull off shooting this film for real,” Kosinski said. “I think he ultimately thought that if not now, then when? We all held hands and jumped in back in 2017 and here we are five years later. We made it through the other side.” Top Gun: Maverick has made a boatload of money. How much? It’s grossed more than $1.4 billion at the box office. Yep, that is with a B.

Now, how could Cruise possibly win an Academy Award for this movie? Maybe it is time for him to win one. He’s received three nominations in his movie career before. They were for Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire, and Magnolia. With the big box-office totals that the flick has turned, it could get Oscar voters’ attention. The Top Gun: Maverick theme song is done by Lady Gaga. That should be up for an Oscar itself. By the way, we do know that Cruise is one whale of a pilot who has done his own aerial work in the past. Yet this movie had some special effects going on, too. Would that be enough to bring Cruise, and the movie, an Oscar, too? It’s possible.