It’s taken 33 years to make a sequel to Top Gun. Somehow, despite the first film making a fortune, propelling Tom Cruise to global stardom, increasing Navy sign-ups by 500 per cent and leading to the existence of the magnificent Hot Shots!, it’s been three decades and change.
It’s happening, though – July 12 2019 sees the release of Top Gun: Maverick, putting Cruise back in the iconic aviators and bringing him into the world of modern warfare, with drones where once there were dogfights. The Cruisester began filming last week.
Cruise’s character, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, ended the first film having decided to stay on as an instructor and, while plot details for the sequel are light, it looks like he stuck with it.
Director Joseph Kosinski told Variety: “The navy is very different now than it was in 1986. It’s just a different world now, so you can’t remake the first movie. It has to adapt, [but] I certainly want to re-create the experience of that movie, which gives you a front seat into the world of naval aviation and what it’s like to be in a fighter jet.”
Excitingly, one more cast member from the original has been confirmed – Deadline reports that Val Kilmer will be reprising his role as Iceman, Maverick’s nemesis-turned-wingman.
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(A few years ago they would have faced the additional challenge of acknowledging that there was rather a lot more of Val Kilmer than there was in the Eighties. They’d have had to give him a bigger nickname – Twiceman? Iceberg? – or just wilfully ignore the fact that Tom Cruise still looked like Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer looked like he was wearing an inflatable Val Kilmer costume. However, he seems to have had a bit of a lifestyle shift at some point in the last couple of years and looks like Val Kilmer again.)
We’re not entirely sure that this is news, given that Kilmer revealed back in 2015 that he’d signed up for the film without even reading the script, while he also revealed that original producer Jerry Bruckheimer would be involved again. Still, we guess he didn’t confirm that he’d definitely be playing Iceman again? Would have been quite the casting leap for him to return as someone else though.
The film will be directed by Joseph Kosinski and with a screenplay written by Peter Craig, Justin Marks, Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz - meanwhile, Harold Faltermeyer is returning as composer for the sequel, which is thoroughly excellent news.
No other characters have been confirmed to return, but one journalist has a very good suggestion:
Correct. Can someone sort this out please? Cheers.
Top Gun: Maverick is scheduled for release on 12 July 2019