‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Delayed Again from Thanksgiving Until 2022

by Chris Haney

Top Gun fans may want to brace themselves because the long-awaited sequel to the original 1986 hit film has been delayed once again. On Wednesday, Paramount Pictures announced that Top Gun: Maverick‘s Thanksgiving release will be pushed back to 2022.

The highly-anticipated sequel was originally scheduled for a July 2019 release. Yet the release got pushed back to allow for more time to work on the film’s complex flight sequences. Additionally, scheduling issues and the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the movie even further. Paramount rescheduled the release for June 2020, but several more delays followed. The production company eventually set a November 19, 2021 debut for Top Gun: Maverick.

The pre-Thanksgiving release seemed to be set in stone for months now. Yet the rise in COVID cases has thrown another wrench in the film’s plans. Paramount decided against releasing the blockbuster action movie under the current pandemic conditions. Now, the Top Gun sequel is backed up another six months. The movie’s new release date is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend with a debut of May 27, 2022.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Will Feature Real-Life Fighter Pilots as Extras

As Top Gun fans know well, Hollywood legends Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer were the faces of the beloved ’80s movie. Each are making a return for the sequel. Kilmer’s son recently spoke about his experience while visiting the set of the movie with his dad. His son shared details about the Top Gun sequel, including the fact that it will feature real-life fighter pilots as extras.

Although Cruise and Kilmer are the only original actors to reprise their roles, Top Gun: Maverick will have other special appearances. During an interview with PEOPLE, Kilmer’s son, Jack, revealed that he got to see “hundreds of extras of real pilots” working on the film.

“They were coming up to us and telling us that the first Top Gun inspired them to join the Navy and the Air Force. Then we had these big F-bomb planes flying overhead,” Jack said to PEOPLE. “It was like one of the proudest moments of being American that you could think of really.”

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer Called Filming ‘Top Gun’ Again ‘Really Emotional’

The outlet also spoke to Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The producer spoke about how adamant Tom Cruise was about including Val Kilmer in the sequel. Bruckheimer stated that everyone involved wanted Kilmer back on set filming once again. But Cruise became the driving force behind Kilmer’s eventual appearance in the film.

“He said, ‘We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film.’ And he was the driving force. We all wanted him, but Tom was really adamant that if he’s going to make another Top Gun, Val had to be in it,” Bruckheimer told PEOPLE.

Bruckheimer continued while praising Kilmer’s work as an actor. The famous producer also made sure to highlight how great of a person Kilmer is off-set as well.

“He’s such a fine actor, and he’s such a good individual,” Bruckheimer said of Kilmer. “We had such a good time on the first one and wanted to bring some of the gang back together again.” 

“It was a really emotional experience for all of us. It was a long time getting there, but we did,” Bruckheimer added.