In a year's time, the long-awaited Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, will make its way into theaters. After decades of wondering what happened next to Maverick, a sequel was officially confirmed in 2015.
First released in 1986, Top Gun immediately became a hit and launched more than a few careers. The film starred Tom Cruise as Maverick, a cocky but talented Navy fighter pilot recruit who has to prove himself, no matter how talented he is, to give his superiors enough confidence to put him in the air. Joined by his close friend, Goose (Anthony Edwards), and fellow confident, talented recruit Iceman (Val Kilmer), Maverick's time spent training is both a serious wake-up call about the exhilaration and danger of being a Navy pilot.
Top Gun: Maverick, which officially began filming early in summer 2019, will no doubt recreate the thrills of the first film while introducing a new class of recruits to train up in the modern era. As fans prepare for the next Top Gun installment, there's plenty of who's, what's, why's, how's, and more to chew on until the sequel hits theaters. Here's everything we know about Top Gun: Maverick.
Top Gun 2 Release Date
Top Gun: Maverick will be released on June 26, 2020. This was pushed back one year from the original release date of July 19, 2019. The report reason was that extra time was being added onto the schedule in order to craft perfectly choreographed aerial stunts and sequences. While delaying the release back a whole year just to ensure the actual fighter pilot material is properly shot isn't entirely suspect, it's certainly noteworthy.
Top Gun 2's Returning Cast Includes Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer
The best news should be delivered first: some of your Top Gun favorites will be back as part of Top Gun: Maverick's cast. The most obvious of the returning cast is Tom Cruise, who will reprise his star-making role as Navy pilot Maverick. In May 2018, Cruise tweeted out the first official Maverick image showing him back in uniform and ready to fulfill his need for speed. In June 2018, Val Kilmer was confirmed to reprise his role as Iceman. Despite the role of Goose's son being cast, it's unclear if Meg Ryan, who played Goose's wife Carole, will appear in Top Gun: Maverick.
Top Gun 2 New Cast Includes Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly and Glen Powell
Maverick has added a metric ton of new talent to its lineup. Among the newcomers is Miles Teller, who will be playing Goose's son. A Beautiful Mind alum Jennifer Connelly was then added as the female lead in late July 2018. Everybody Wants Some!! breakout Glen Powell was cast one month after in August 2018, with Jerry Bruckheimer and Paramount reportedly so impressed with Powell's audition they beefed up his role for him specifically. As if the new cast wasn't impressive enough, August 2018 also saw casting confirmations for Westworld's Ed Harris and Bad Times at the El Royale co-stars Jon Hamm and Lewis Pullman.
Also in the Top Gun: Maverick cast are Thomasin McKenzie, Charles Parnell, Jay Ellis, Bashir Salahuddin, Danny Ramirez, Monica Barbaro, Kara Wang (Good Trouble), Jack Schumacher (Empire), Greg Tarzan Davis (Chicago P.D.), Jake Picking (Blockers), Raymond Lee (Mozart in the Jungle), Jean Louisa Kelly (Ant-Man), Manny Jacinto (The Good Place) and Lyliana Wray (Strange Angel).
Top Gun 2's Story May See Maverick Become A Mentor
Because Top Gun: Maverick has been in the works for so long, the plot has slowly evolved over the years. In 2015, Skydance CEO David Ellison gave the first taste of the Top Gun sequel story:
"[The Jungle Book's] Justin Marks is writing the screenplay right now. He has a phenomenal take to really update that world for what fighter pilots in the Navy has turned into today. There is an amazing role for Maverick in the movie and there is no 'Top Gun' without Maverick, and it is going to be Maverick playing Maverick. It is I don’t think what people are going to expect, and we are very, very hopeful that we get to make the movie very soon. But like all things, it all comes down to the script, and Justin is writing as we speak."
In 2017, new director Joseph Kosinski commented on the fact Top Gun: Maverick would have to address how the Navy has evolved in the last 30-plus years and how its involvement in modern, foreign wars has changed how the institution trains its recruits and prepares them for what lies ahead:
"The Navy is very different now than it was in 1986. Back then, they hadn’t been in any war for 15 or 20 years at that point. The tone of that movie and what those guys were doing was very different. Now, here in 2017, the Navy’s been at war for 20 years. It’s just a different world now, so you can’t remake the first movie. It has to adapt. That being said, I certainly want to recreate the experience of that movie, which gives you a front-seat into the world of Naval aviation and what it’s like to be in a fighter jet. The approach is going to be appropriate for the times we live in."
By 2018, longtime Cruise collaborator Christopher McQuarrie had boarded Top Gun: Maverick in order to do some work on the script. In the space of three years, Marks had been removed from writing and screenwriters Peter Craig, Ashley Miller, Eric Warren Singer, and Zack Stentz had also gained script credits (it's still unknown how much or what specifically they contributed).
There's been no word on why exactly McQuarrie has to be brought on or how much work he had had to do on the script but it seems like it was the right move because filming has already begun with a filmable script in hand. That said, an official synopsis has yet to materialize. Among the many plot rumors floating around is that Cruise's Maverick will now be in charge of training new Navy fighter pilots with Teller's character as the Maverick of his own class, forcing Cruise to step up as a mentor.
Top Gun 2's Director Is Joseph Kosinski
Top Gun's director, Tony Scott (younger brother of director Ridley Scott), was a go-to for decades when it came to expertly-crafted, action-centered films. Top Gun was one of Scott's biggest films in an already gigantic career, which included directing credits on Beverly Hills Cop II, Days of Thunder, and Enemy of the State. Unfortunately, Scott died in 2012, leaving behind some pretty big shoes to fill.
In May 2017, while Top Gun 2 was still in its early gestation, Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski was confirmed as the director. Kosinski has a small but impressive list of feature-length films to his name as he works on Maverick. In addition to Tron: Legacy (his feature debut), Kosinski has directed Cruise in 2013's Oblivion and went on to direct Teller in 2017's Only the Brave.
There Is No Top Gun 2 Trailer Yet
There's no trailer for Top Gun: Maverick yet. With the film set to release in June 2020, it's likely a first-look teaser will release near the end of 2019, with a full trailer in early 2020.
- Top Gun: Maverick/Top Gun 2 (2020) release date: Jun 26, 2020