Few of Tom Cruise's movies have had the kind of cultural impact as the 1986 Jerry Bruckheimer-produced film Top Gun, about a group of young navy pilots who are selected to train at the Naval Fighter Weapons School at Naval Air Station Miramar. Such is the popularity of the movie that Cruise was recently awarded the 35th Honorary Naval Aviator certificate, while Bruckheimer became the 36th Honorary Naval Aviator, in a ceremony held at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. The Naval Air Forces revealed the reason behind the honor being bestowed on Cruise and Bruckheimer.
"In the history of motion pictures, there is not a more iconic aviation movie than the 1986 Paramount Pictures film Top Gun. Its characters, dialogue, and imagery are ingrained in the minds of an entire generation of Americans. The movie captured the hearts of millions, making a profound positive impact on recruiting for Naval Aviation. [It has] significantly promoted and supported Naval Aviation and put aircraft carriers and naval aircraft into popular culture. [It has remained] true to the unparalleled tactical excellence of the Navy Fighter Weapons School, the ethos of Naval Aviation, and the fighting spirit of the men and women of the world's greatest Navy."
While Bruckheimer was on hand to receive the award, Tom Cruise, who is currently filming his latest Mission Impossible film, attended the ceremony via video call. Aside from being one of the busiest actors in Hollywood, Cruise is also a certified pilot and has flown a variety of vehicles both in movies and in real life.
The star's recent aviation honor doubtless has something to do with the sequel to Top Gun that was supposed to release this year, but which has now been postponed to next year. Top Gun: Maverick is set 35 years after the first film. Cruise's character is now one of the Navy's top aviators and is tasked with training a new generation of aviators, some of whom have a connection to Maverick's past in a way that forces him to grapple with long-buried issues. The director of the movie, Joseph Kosinski, revealed previously how the aerial stunts in Top Gun: Maverick go even further than the ones in the original.
"For the sequence where Tom got to do some extreme low-altitude flying in this film, we had to get special permission from the Navy to do it. It was one of the most extreme aerial sequences that we could come up with. Also, getting to do a real launch off a carrier and a real landing on a carrier - no one else has been able to ever do that in a movie before. Tom got to fulfill every kind of aviation dream that he had."
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. This news was first reported at Daily Mail.