What to Expect From Top Gun: Maverick, the Sequel We’ve Waited 36 Years For

What to Expect From Top Gun: Maverick, the Sequel We’ve Waited 36 Years For
Photo: Paramount Pictures
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It’s not often that a studio releases a sequel 36 years after the original, but that’s precisely the case with Top Gun: Maverick, the follow up to Tom Cruise’s 1986 classic action flick.

There has been talk of a Top Gun sequel since 2010, and even though Cruise is now 59, he’s showing zero signs of slowing down. Here’s what you need to know about Top Gun: Maverick.

What’s the sequel about?

top gun maverick
Top Gun Maverick. Photo: Paramount Pictures

Cruise returns as Pete’ Maverick’ Mitchell, who’s now a flight instructor mentoring Bradley’ Rooster’ Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of his late friend Goose from the first film.

The official synopsis Paramount Pictures released reads:

“After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete’ Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.

“When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialised mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: ‘Rooster,’ the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka ‘Goose’.”

Miles Teller in Top Gun: Maverick
Photo: Paramount Pictures

“Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.”

Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the film, told the Hollywood Reporter in 2014, “The concept is, basically, are the pilots obsolete because of drones… Cruise is going to show them that they’re not obsolete. They’re here to stay.”

Director Joseph Kosinski spoke of how Maverick has changed since the first film, telling Empire, “In so many ways he’s still the guy that we remember from the first Top Gun.”

“He keeps that old Ninja under a tarp in the hangar and still wears those Ray-Ban aviators. He’s the best at what he does, and he’s given his whole life to aviation.

According to Jon Hamm, there’s not a lot of CGI in the film. What you see is what they actually shot.

“Those guys are really up in planes and getting thrown around in multiple Gs,” he told Jo Blo.

He added that the sequel has “a very similar vibe to the first one”.

Who’s in the cast of Top Gun: Maverick?

top gun maverick
Image: Paramount

We already know Tom Cruise is back joining the cast lineup for Top Gun: Maverick, but Val Kilmer also returns as Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky.

Speaking with Total Film magazine, director Joe Kosinski highlighted that having Kilmer return for the film was a particularly big win for him.

“That was a huge, huge get – having Val come back to play Iceman.

“To get to work with an actor of that caliber, to see the chemistry, the camaraderie between him and Tom, and to have those two characters reunite in this film, was a really special moment, and one of my favorite parts of the film,” he said.

Miles Teller, as we’ve mentioned, plays Goose’s son, Rooster.

Some of the other stars include Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Glen Powell and Manny Jacinto.

Kelly McGillis, who starred as Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Blackwood in the first film (Maverick’s love interest), revealed to Entertainment Tonight in 2019 that the studio never asked her to return.

“I’m old and I’m fat, and I look age-appropriate for what my age is, and that is not what that whole scene is about,” she said.

McGillis added that while she doesn’t know Connelly, she’s “so glad that she got that opportunity”.

Ouch.

What’s the release date for Top Gun: Maverick?

What to Expect From Top Gun: Maverick, the Sequel We’ve Waited 36 Years For
Top Gun: Maverick. Image: Paramount

The film was initially set for release in July 2019 after being shot in 2018. Sadly, the studio pushed back to June 2020 due to complex flight sequences that required more time.

There was then talk of a November 2021 release date, but that obviously didn’t happen, either.

The latest Australian release date for Top Gun: Maverick is May 26, 2022. It was also screened at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in May.

Can I see a trailer?

Yes! Paramount has dropped a couple of official trailers for the Top Gun: Maverick film, which you can check out below.

You can also check out some of the incredible flight training the cast went through in this new featurette.

Is the movie any good?

After such a long wait a lot of people are probably pretty hesitant to dive back into the Top Gun world. Recently at CinemaCon 2022 attendees were screened the entirety of Top Gun: Maverick and it seems like the film is worth the wait.

Attendees called it “terrific in every conceivable way” and said they were “blown away”. That’s pretty high praise!

Here are some of the first reactions.

Reviews have also begun rolling in on Rotten Tomatoes and the film is sitting at an impressive 97 per cent. Very fresh.

Where can I watch the original?

If you’d like a refresher on the OG film, you can stream Top Gun (1986) on Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime, Binge and Paramount Plus.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

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