Sequels to famous 1980s titles like The Goonies, Beetlejuice, and Top Gun have been rumored many times over the years since the original films released by now, yet of late Hollywood’s fixation on nostalgia for that decade has signaled that one or more of these belated followups may, at long last, actually get made. Case in point: just a week ago, reports emerged that Warner Bros. is currently fast-tracking Goonies 2, while a couple months back Michael Keaton confirmed that he and director Tim Burton have seriously discussed making a second movie featuring “The Ghost with the Most.”
For a while, Top Gun 2 looked like it would be the first of these figurative prize horses out of the gate; two years ago, in fact, Tom Cruise was reported to be ready to reprise as the high-flying hotshot Maverick a second time, maybe even before he played Mission: Impossible franchise lead Ethan Hunt for a fifth time. Everything changed when Top Gun director Tony Scott – who had been overseeing development on the sequel – committed suicide, which led to the project being indefinitely scrapped in the wake of the filmmaker’s death.
Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer ended his 20-year long working relationship with the Walt Disney company last year (not long after the Bruckheimer-produced Lone Ranger proved to be a costly miscalculation). He struck a new deal with Paramount a few months thereafter, which led to a restart for development on new installments in two of Bruckheimer’s popular 1980s brands – Beverly Hills Cop and Top Gun, to be exact. In a recent interview with Bloomberg TV (via The Wrap), Bruckheimer offered some plot details for Top Gun 2:
“Technology has changed, obviously, since we made the first one. So I think we’re going to take advantage of what the world is like today with the drones really taking over in a lot of our wars…
“Is the pilot obsolete? Are those guys, those jet jockeys, are they gone from now? No I don’t think so…because you still have to make quick decisions. We’re hopefully going to highlight both worlds.”
What Bruckheimer is saying here sounds rather close to Tony Scott’s original vision for the Top Gun sequel. The idea seems to be that Cruise as an older Marverick, in the new film, will have to learn how to operate in this brave new world of aerial warfare, but also use his years of experience to educate and mentor the younger generation responsible for controlling said drones in action. It sounds like a setup that would allow Cruise to believably function as the protagonist of the film, similar to how the upcoming Edge of Tomorrow casts the 51-year old actor as a longtime military PR man who’s a rookie on the battlefield.
Vague story hints aside, other details on the current version of the Top Gun 2 screenplay remain something of a mystery right now. Earlier script drafts were reportedly fashioned by the likes of Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class) as well as Peter Craig (The Town), but in the aftermath of Scott’s death it remains to be seen if any of that previously-written material is carried over – beyond the basic premise – once (or, rather, if) the project starts moving forward faster and gets another director to commit.
We’ll keep you updated on development for Top Gun 2.