‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Director Reveals What Convinced Tom Cruise to Return for Long-Awaited Sequel

by Courtney Blackann

While the film’s debut is not necessarily feeling ‘the need for speed’ – as it has once again been pushed to Summer 2022 – fans of the “Top Gun” sequel are still determined to see what Maverick has been up to all this time. However, Cruise’s reprise of the character apparently needed some convincing by director Joseph Kosinki.

The 1986 blockbuster “Top Gun” exploded on the big screen (much like the F-14 Tomcat itself). Its grandeur has, indeed, stood the test of time. Between the unshakable bond between Maverick and Goose, the emotional roller coaster and ever-present rivalries, the film quickly garnered financial success and critical acclaim.

More than 30 years later, fans of the film can’t wait for “Top Gun: Maverick” to drop. Will it be as successful as its first installment or will it crash and burn? Director Joseph Kosinki says that all depends on the “emotional core” of the movie – which is exactly what convinced Cruise to come onboard.

According to Screenrant, Cruise will come back as an instructor at the Top Gun Academy. Though he tragically lost his best friend and navigator, Goose (Anthony Edwards), to an ejection-malfunction, Goose’s son is now an F-18 Navy pilot. There will likely be some good tension and emotional drama there.

Kosinki knows this relationship will make or break the film. He felt it was paramount that Cruise come on board and explore this dynamic. Kosinki also wants to demonstrate Maverick’s character growth over the past three decades.

Why ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Star Came On Board

“I wanted it to be a rite of passage story like the first film. Obviously, Maverick in that film was in his early twenties and now he’s in his fifties. It had to be a different journey, but it was important it was a journey for a man at a different part of his life. We think of Top Gun as an action film, but I think of it as a drama. It has some incredible action scenes in it, but there is a drama at the center of it,” he said.

The director added that the storyline will center on a teacher/student relationship instead of a love story.

“For me, the way into that was through this story of Rooster [the son of Goose], who is played by Miles Teller. That was the thing that felt like the storyline that we would be able to sink our hooks into emotionally and the thing that would get Tom excited about getting into this character again.”

Additionally, the sequel will also use real flying in its actions scenes. Each of the actors underwent specialized training to be able to handle the g-force placed on them as they soar through the air in the F-18 Hornet. And honestly, flying through seriously cool action scenes as a fighter pilot doesn’t sound like too bad of a gig. Surely, that’s another reason Cruise opted to take the role.

Whatever unfolds in the “Top Gun: Maverick” sequel, we’re all just glad to know Mav is still flying. Let’s just hope he’s not still buzzing the tower as he zips past air traffic control.