For over 30 years, the iconic Top Gun franchise lay dormant. Though the original 1986 film had cemented itself as an indelible piece of American pop culture multiple times over, there was no talk of a sequel. Then, nearly a quarter century later, whispers began of a Top Gun sequel in 2010. However, it would be years before that film was confirmed, and still more before it saw the light of day.
In the spring of 2022, thirty-six years following the release of the original and over a decade after development began, the long-awaited sequel finally hit theaters. And for fans and critics alike, to say Top Gun: Maverick was worth the wait would be an understatement.
Perfectly timed for a Memorial Day weekend release, the newest Tom Cruise classic exceeded even the highest expectations. Since its release, Maverick has earned an astounding $1.383 billion at the box office worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of 2022 and Tom Cruise’s entire career.
And though it’s now been in theaters for three months, Top Gun: Maverick just keeps climbing. In North America alone, the film has now collected $679 million at the box office, officially passing Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War to become the sixth-highest grossing movie in domestic box office history.
If Maverick can earn 20 million or so more at the box office, it will overtake Black Panther and enter the top five domestic grossers of all time. This won’t be an easy task for the action film, but as theater offerings will remain sparse until November, it’s far from impossible.
Tom Cruise Almost Didn’t Agree to ‘Top Gun’ Sequel
As Top Gun: Maverick is Tom Cruise’s most successful film in his 40 years in Hollywood, it’s unbelievable to think that he didn’t think it was a good idea. But in an interview with Vulture, director Joseph Kosinski revealed that bringing Cruise around on Maverick took some convincing.
Luckily, Kosinski had experience working with the Top Gun star and knew exactly what to say to make Cruise see the epic vision. “I had made a film with him before, I knew I had to grab him emotionally,” Kosinski explained. “So I opened with the idea that this is a rite-of-passage story like the first film.”
“The first film is a drama, even though it’s wrapped in this glossy action film. This would be the same thing, but it would be Maverick reconciling with Goose’s son set against this mission that would take them both deep into enemy territory. And as soon as I said that, I could see the wheels in his head start to turn.”
What really put the idea over the edge, however, was, of course, the promise of practical effects. Because in addition to being among the top actors in the world, Tom Cruise also has a penchant for stunt work.
“Then I talked about shooting practically,” Kosinski said. “And obviously Tom’s 100 percent in for all that. And then the title. I said we can’t call it Top Gun 2. We’ve got to call it Top Gun: Maverick — a character story. So he pulled out his phone, called the head of Paramount, and said, ‘We’re making a sequel to Top Gun‘. And it was boom, green light.”