A new Top Gun: Maverick featurette goes behind-the-scenes to reveal Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast flying in real fighter jets. Cruise is known for doing his own stunts and pushing the envelope, but he may have outdone himself this time.

The second Top Gun: Maverick trailer was released earlier this week and it featured some incredibly realistic shots of Tom Cruise and the other actors in fighter jets while engaged in high altitude dogfights. As it turns out, no green screens or CGI was used.

When we see Top Gun: Maverick footage of Tom Cruise in the cockpit, he's really in it. A professional pilot is controlling the jet, but Cruise and the cast were really in there for all of the barrel rolls and crazy stunts, which is pretty impressive. Jerry Bruckheimer says that the sequel is a, "Love letter to aviation." He then declared, "We're going to show you what it's really like to be a Top Gun pilot." He wasn't kidding.

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Throughout the video, we see Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Monica Barbaro, and others as they face up to 9Gs, aka 1,600 pounds of pressure, on their bodies as the jets rip through the air. As Cruise says in the video, it's nearly impossible to get the accurate sight of someone's face distorting due to all of that pressure through special effects. He may be right, but some of this looks absolutely torturous for some of the cast as they look scared out of their minds. One member nearly vomits, while another almost passes out due to the extreme speed and stunts.

While it's not clear if the Top Gun: Maverick story is any good, it will certainly be something people will want to see on the big screen. Each cockpit was loaded with six IMAX cameras to capture the live-action. The six-camera system was developed specifically for the sequel and ensures that everything looks as real as possible. The cameras, when paired with some of the best pilots in the world, is already proving to be an extraordinary leap forward in filmmaking. If that wasn't enough, Cruise is shown actually piloting an older plane, which may be the World War II era aircraft from the recently released poster.

Tom Cruise pushes Marverick to the limit in this sequel, as he's done in more recent movies. One would imagine that the insurance alone on the sequel was probably astronomical and probably more than the entire budgets of a lot of Hollywood projects released on the big screen. Thankfully, nobody was injured, though there might have been some pretty ugly cleaning of those cockpits after some vomiting. Regardless, even if the upcoming movie doesn't have the best story, it's going to be something that the cast can watch and be proud of, while the audience is left amazed at how realistic everything looks. You can check out the Top Gun: Maverick featurette above, thanks to the Paramount Pictures YouTube channel.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick