Top Gun 2 began to take steps away from being one of those belated sequels that's often discussed yet never actually happens a few years back, but that was before the death of director Tony Scott led to the project being (temporarily) scrapped. Earlier this year, however, producer Jerry Bruckheimer once again started talking up the Top Gun sequel again, not that long after he had set up base camp (read: a first-look deal) with Paramount Pictures intend of Walt Disney Pictures.
THR is reporting that screenwriter Justin Marks is now in negotiations to put together a fresh Top Gun 2 script draft for Paramount, Bruckheimer, and the other producers on the project. Marks, if he signs on, would be the first writer to work on the sequel since Peter Craig (The Town) was recruited back in 2012, though Christopher McQuarrie (who is presently directing Top Gun's star Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 5) and scribes Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class) were associated with the project as writers, before Craig climbed onboard.
Bruckheimer recently confirmed that the current storyline for Top Gun 2 revolves around an older Maverick (Cruise), a relic of the age of hotshot pilots who must adjust to operating in a world of high-tech, drone-oriented aerial warfare. That premise has already prompted jokes from our readers about the similarities to the setup for the 2005 film Stealth (minus the A.I. sci-fi angle) - and not without reason either - though Bruckheimer has indicated that Top Gun 2 will offer a more even-handed and complex examination of old vs. new Air Force tactics, having said "We're hopefully going to highlight both worlds."
Marks is a screenwriter who's gone from being something of an obscurity - the writer on 2009's Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li - to one of the busier writers in Hollywood, over the past year. He wrote the script for director Jon Favreau's upcoming live-action Jungle Book movie and is penning the Vertigo Comics adaptation Federal Bureau of Physics for Warner Bros., having previously put together a screenplay for a Suicide Squad comic book movie that appears to be moving forward again at WB.
The next step for Top Gun 2 will be to find a director sooner than later, especially if Paramount decides to push for the project to begin production in 2015 so as to make a release date in 2016 (the 30th anniversary of the original Top Gun). Cruise's schedule looks to be relatively open after he finishes shooting the latest Mission: Impossible film installment, so he should be available to work on the Top Gun sequel next year - and given how many franchise movies Paramount's already got in the pipeline for 2016, where's the harm in adding one more to the pile?
We'll continue to keep you up to date on Top Gun 2's status as more information becomes available.