There have been rumblings about Tom Cruise reprising his iconic role as Maverick under Tony Scott’s direction on Top Gun 2 for years now, but that pair’s collective frenzied work schedule has prevented that belated sequel from progressing beyond the earliest stages of development (a place even the infamously long-in-coming Ghostbusters 3 has managed to move past by now).
Paramount is now starting to get more serious about resurrecting the Top Gun brand for a second installment. The studio is planning a 3D theatrical re-release for the original 1984 blockbuster later this year; partially with the intent of cashing in on people’s nostalgia, but also as a means to drum up interest in a sequel.
Risky Business says that Paramount has tapped The Town co-screenwriter Peter Craig to script Top Gun 2. Besides receiving acclaim for his work on Ben Affleck’s 2010 crime-drama, Craig also rewrote the screenplay for Horse Soldiers (which Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer is working on) and penned an early script draft for the still-in-development Bad Boys 3.
X-Men: First Class and Thor co-writing duo Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz were reported as being “in negotiations” to script the second Top Gun movie back in Fall 2011, but it seems that deal was never finalized. By all accounts, Craig will be starting from scratch on the Top Gun 2 screenplay and drawing inspiration from Scott’s own ideas for the film.
Scott previously indicated that he’s not interested in doing “a reinvention” of the original Top Gun; rather, he wants to explore the end of the era of fighter pilots in the Top Gun sequel, partly due to his own encounters with contemporary Air Force personnel.
To quote the filmmaker directly:
“… These computer geeks — these kids play war games in a trailer in Fallon, Nevada and if we ever went to war or were in the Middle East or the Far East or wherever it is, these guys can actually fly drones. They are unmanned aircraft. They operate them and then they party all night.”
While Scott still has numerous projects vying to become “his next movie” right now (including, most recently, Lucky Strike) the fact that he’s already started doing homework for Top Gun 2 – combined with Paramount’s recent activity – suggests the latter flick may become a reality sooner, rather than later.
It also sounds like the Top Gun sequel could touch on such timely issues as the technology vs. humanity debate, the pros and cons of how modern warfare is conducted, etc. Should Cruise sign on, we could also get a belated followup that pits Maverick’s “old-school” mentality against a new generation’s mindset (a la Rocky Balboa) rather than one which simply sees Cruise’s character “passing the torch,” so to speak.
That’s all to say: belated sequels are always a tricky prospect – and their poor track record is pretty impossible to overlook – but Top Gun 2 actually sounds like it has potential. We’ll just have to wait and see…