It is perched in balance on a biplane in flight that Tom Cruise unveiled Thursday April 28 in world preview Top Gun: Maverickthe second installment of the hit film released in 1986.
Following Top Gun takes up the story of Maverick, an elite pilot played by Tom Cruise, some thirty years after the original film. Its release was originally scheduled for 2020, but it has been pushed back several times due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Premiered at CinemaCon
Tom Cruise, 59, presented his film via a video message to attendees of CinemaCon in Las Vegas, the annual high mass for movie theater owners. Renowned for his ability to perform a large number of stunts himself, it was perched on a plane in full flight over South Africa that he addressed them.
“Hi everyone. I would have liked to be there with you. Sorry for the noise“, shouts the actor over the roar of the engine of the device and the whistling of the wind. “As you can see, we are filming the latest episode as of Mission: Impossible”, he laughs. “Tom goes all out all the time…and you can’t stop him“, had fun Jerry Bruckheimer, who was also producer of the first Top Gunpresent in the room in Las Vegas.
The plot and details of the film are kept secret until the official presentation of Top Gun: Maverick at the Cannes Film Festival next month, but the film was immediately applauded on social media by journalists attending the screening hosted by Paramount Studios.
Inspired by US Navy videos
The new part remains faithful to the recipe that made the success of the first Top Gun featuring intense action scenes shot aboard real US Navy fighter jets, as well as plenty of references to the original.
Tony Scott, who directed it, died in 2012 but his successor, Joseph Kosinski, “found a way to pique Tom’s interest“after seeing videos on YouTube taken by Navy pilots using GoPro cameras during their training flights.
“I showed this to Tom and he said ‘it’s available for free on the internet… If you can’t do better, then it’s not worth making the film’ And so he agreed!”, smiles Joseph Kosinski. With the help of naval aviation engineers, the filmmakers have indeed succeeded in placing no less than six cameras in the cockpit of the jets used for the filming.
The original film was inspired by the elite pilot training program known as Topgun, held at a now-closed military base in San Diego, California. Top Gun was so successful that the recruiting officers had been overwhelmed with requests from young people who wanted to follow in the footsteps of Maverick and his comrades. Some had even set up tables in front of cinemas showing the film.
At the time, however, the film crew “did not receive much support from the Navy“, stresses Joseph Kosinski.”For this film, however, when we made contact with the Navy, the doors were thrown open to us: Come in, tell us what you need.“. The second part, for example, had access to the very secure base of China Lake, in the Californian Mojave desert, says the director.
Moving appearance by Val Kilmer
Top Gun: Maverick also sees the return of Val Kilmer, who played rival Iceman in the original film. He made an appearance there, a particularly poignant performance since the actor lost the use of his voice following treatment for throat cancer. “Val felt comfortable doing it. It was very moving to film“, recalls Jerry Bruckheimer.
“He’s still an incredible actor, an incredible individual.“, said the producer, according to whom Tom Cruise had claimed: “I’m not making this movie if Val isn’t in it“.