The release of “Top Gun: Maverick”

The+release+of+Top+Gun%3A+Maverick

Over 30 years since the release of Tom Cruise’s Top Gun (1986), the highly anticipated sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, finally hit theaters in the U.S. on May 27, 2022. The original film follows the story of a rookie Pete Mitchell “Maverick” (Tom Cruise) who attends the United States Navy’s elite fighter weapons school.

The film also features Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, Meg Ryan, and Val Kilmer, viewers watched as Maverick competed against fellow student Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), known to be quite ruthlessly skilled and arrogant. They fought to earn the coveted “Top Gun” award, granted to the best pilot in the class.

Though his father’s demise continues to haunt him, the daring Maverick strives to prove his worth as top fighter pilot, while also grappling for the attention of his beautiful flight instructor: Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood (Kelly McGillis).

Three decades later, Cruise, now 59, reprised his role as Maverick. In January 2020, director Joseph Kosinski teased that Val Kilmer would return once again as Maverick’s rival.

“The rivalry and relationship between Iceman and Maverick is one of those things that makes the first film so iconic,” Cruise expressed to Entertainment Weekly, “It’s a relationship that is important to the Top Gun franchise and as a fan, [Kosinski] would want to see how it’s evolved.”

In March 2020, Kilmer confirmed his cameo in a tweet promoting the movie’s trailer, captioned “Here we go in 3…2…1… #TopGunMaverick Official Trailer #Iceman signing off.”

In the sequel, Maverick “[will push] the envelope as a courageous test pilot and [dodge] the advancement in rank that would ground him,” unravels the official synopsis, “He finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen.”

While McGillis’s Charlie won’t appear in Top Gun: Maverick, actress Jennifer Connelly will fulfill the role of the love interest. Character Penny Benjamin, who was referenced in an early scene in the original, is promised to offer dramatic weight beyond Charlie’s mere replacement.

American singer/songwriter and actress, Lady Gaga released a new song written for the movie, “Hold My Hand.”

Drones and new technology were at the forefront of the sequel. John Hamm, who plays Vice Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson, Maverick’s overseer, hinted at the hi-def filming in the movie. “ We’re shooting the movie in, I think, 6K. The aerial footage is mind-blowing,” he exclaims, “There’s not a lot of CG. Those guys are really up in planes and getting thrown around in multiple Gs…It very much takes the story in a different direction.”

Cruise, no stranger to performing his own stunts, has endured extensive training and will be able to fly in certain aircrafts for the film. “While he won’t be able to fly the actual jets due to government regulations about civilians doing that,” says Men’s Journal, “it looks like Cruise will be going airborne.”

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Jurassic World: Dominion are all in the running for the biggest domestic hit of summer 2022. They were each expected to raise $300 million, at best.

Yet it only took a brief 11 days at the box office for the Top Gun sequel to gross a whopping $308 million. Tom Brueggemann of IndieWire reports that “the last time a non-Marvel or franchise title did that was “It” in 2017 ($327 million).” A $600 million gross is not necessarily out of reach for Top Gun: Maverick, given the likelihood that the movie will be able to stream in just a few months.

The release of the highly anticipated sequel pleased fans as Cruise returned to his beloved role.