Top Gun: Maverick promises to take older viewers down memory lane with a modern sequel to the 1986 classic, with Tom Cruise once again reprising his role as hotshot US Navy pilot Maverick. But the upcoming film also promises plenty of excitement for new viewers. During an episode of Collider: Directors on Directing [email protected] panel, director of the movie Joseph Kosinski revealed how Top Gun: Maverick will bring Hollywood aerial action set pieces to a whole new level, with the help of 6K cameras.
"It's a 6K camera, so 6000 pixels wide. It's a large-format sensor, which is bigger than a 35 millimeter sensor. It's like cinemascope, I think, is the comparable film size. The real technology breakthrough is that the sensor can be separated from the recorder. So, when you're looking at a digital camera, the only thing capturing the image is that first inch of the camera."
"Everything kind of behind that is power and recording and cooling, so this Sony camera, which is called the Sony Venice, you can buy a version where those two pieces are connected via some fiber opted cable. So this sensor, with a very small lens, can sit in a very tight place or right in front of the actor."
The inside of a fighter jet cockpit is a very cramped space, so making sure the cameras were positioned in such a manner so as to capture the full range of the actor's performance while flying the jets was a big priority for Kosinski.
"We had four of them pointing at the actor, and the recorders could be hidden in storage spaces on the jet. Normally you'd only be able to fit a GoPro there. Now you're able to put an IMAX quality camera in that spot. In this case, six of them. So we have multi-camera coverage of these sequences that you can cut a whole scene by just working with those six angles. So that, to me, was kind of our technology breakthrough on this movie. It's just a really fun way to work when you're getting it all in-camera."
Some of the footage teased from the making of the movie has already revealed the lengths the team behind Top Gun: Maverick went to in order to ensure authenticity during the film's action scenes, including many of the cast members undergoing months of pilot training so they could actually fly the planes instead of relying on stunt doubles. All this bears out with Cruise's earlier comments to Empire regarding just how special the aerial scenes in the upcoming movie are going to be.
"There's never been an aerial sequence shot this way. I don't know if there ever will be again, to be honest."
Directed by Joseph Kosinski from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie, Top Gun: Maverick stars Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Val Kilmer, Ed Harris, Jon Hamm, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Manny Jacinto, Monica Barbaro, Lewis Pullman, Danny Ramirez, and Jay Ellis. The film arrives in theaters July 2, 2021.