35 years ago, Top Gun stormed cinemas and introduced that generation of viewers to the world of Maverick, Ice Man and their band of hotshot air force pilots. Now, Tom Cruise is planning on revisiting that world, and in an interview for the magazine Empire, Cruise explained why producer Jerry Bruckheimer and he felt the time was ripe for Top Gun 2.
"We just started talking," Cruise says. "And I realized that there were things that we could accomplish cinematically. And I started getting excited about this big challenge of, 'How do we do it?' So I said to Jerry, 'I'll do it if...' meaning, I'm not going to do the CGI stuff."
In recent times, Tom Cruise has established himself as an action star who is willing to risk the gravest dangers performing live-action stunts for his films instead of standing in front of a green screen and letting CGI take care of the rest.
It is the knowledge that Cruise was out there actually climbing up outside of the Burj Khalifa, hanging from a plane door as it took off, or holding his breath for six and a half minutes underwater, that added an extra layer of realism to the Mission Impossible franchise and made them stand apart from the CGI-laden superhero movies so popular today.
It seems that this commitment to pushing the boundaries of live-action stunts was the main attraction for making a Top Gun sequel for Cruise. Although as Bruckheimer further explained, just because Cruise was raring to perform the stunts did not mean his co-actors were also up to the task.
"What's different about this movie is that [in Top Gun] we put the actors in the F-14s and we couldn't use one frame of it, except some stuff on Tom, because they all threw up. It's hysterical to see their eyes roll back in their heads. So everything was done on a gimbal. But in this movie, Tom wanted to make sure the actors could actually be in the F-18s."
Concurring with the sentiment expressed by Bruckheimer regarding the difficulty of the stunts, Cruise revealed that it is that same difficulty which is going to make Top Gun: Maverick a one-of-a-kind action-adventure film:
"I said to the studio, 'You don't know how hard this movie's going to be. No-one's ever done this before. There's never been an aerial sequence shot this way. I don't know if there ever will be again, to be honest."
So fans of the Cruise brand of action can look forward to yet another movie that uses real actors and environments for its hair-raising action scenes instead of CGI. Meanwhile, Top Gun: Maverick is also going to continue to showcase the most famous rivalry from the original film, between Cruise's Maverick and his fellow pilot, Val Kilmer's Ice Man, who has recently battled throat cancer, and has had an operation on his trachea which left him with a rasp.