Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick is a 2022 American action drama film directed by Joseph Kosinski. It is the sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun and was written by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie, based on a story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks. The film stars Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer reprising their roles from the original film, alongside Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, and Ed Harris. It follows Maverick confronting his past while training a group of younger TOPGUN graduates, including the son of his deceased best friend, for a dangerous mission.

Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun Maverick Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoseph Kosinski
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyClaudio Miranda
Edited by
Music by
Production
companies
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release dates
  • April 28, 2022 (2022-04-28) (CinemaCon)
  • May 27, 2022 (2022-05-27) (United States)
Running time
131 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$170 million[2]
Box office$1.381 billion[3][4]

Development of a Top Gun sequel was announced in 2010 by Paramount Pictures. Cruise, along with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott, were asked to return. Craig wrote a draft of the screenplay in 2012, but Scott died later that year by suicide, stalling the project.[5] The film was later dedicated to Scott's memory.[6] In 2017, Kosinski was hired to direct, and production resumed. Principal photography, which involved the use of IMAX-certified 6K full-frame cameras, took place from May 2018 to April 2019 in California, Washington, and Maryland. An initial release date was scheduled for July 12, 2019, but it was delayed several times due to the complex action sequences and the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, several streaming companies attempted to buy the streaming rights to the film from Paramount but all offers were declined on the orders of Cruise, who insisted the film be released exclusively in cinemas.[7]

Top Gun: Maverick premiered at CinemaCon on April 28, 2022, and was theatrically released by Paramount Pictures in the United States on May 27, 2022, in IMAX, 4DX,[8] ScreenX,[9] and Dolby Cinema.[10] The film was widely praised by critics, with many deeming it superior to its predecessor.[11] It has grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 2022, the second film released during the COVID-19 pandemic to gross $1 billion, and the highest-grossing film of Cruise's career.

PlotEdit

Over thirty years after graduating from TOPGUN,[b] United States Navy Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell is a test pilot. While he has won many honors, repeated insubordination has kept him from flag rank.[c] His friend and former TOPGUN rival Admiral Tom "Iceman" Kazansky, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, often protects Maverick from being grounded. Rear Admiral Chester "Hammer" Cain cancels Maverick's "Darkstar" scramjet program in favor of funding drones. Before Cain can officially do so, Maverick sets a new flight plan to push into high-hypersonic speed, accomplishing the program's goal. The prototype is destroyed, however, when Maverick pushes beyond Mach 10. Iceman again saves Maverick's career by ordering him to NAS North Island for his next assignment, but Hammer warns Maverick that the era of crewed fighter aircraft will soon end.

The Navy has been tasked with destroying an unsanctioned uranium enrichment plant, which sits in a deep depression at the end of a canyon. It is defended by SA-3 Goa surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and what appear to be fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57[d] fighters. Maverick devises a plan to attack with two pairs of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. Although he wants to fly the mission, Maverick is assigned to train an elite group of TOPGUN graduates assembled by Air Boss Vice Admiral Beau "Cyclone" Simpson, who dislikes Maverick's unorthodox methods.

Maverick out-dogfights his skeptical students to win their respect. Lieutenants Jake "Hangman" Seresin and Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw—son of Maverick's late best friend and RIO Nick "Goose" Bradshaw—clash. Rooster dislikes Hangman's cavalier attitude, while Hangman criticizes Rooster's cautious flying. Maverick reunites with former girlfriend Penny Benjamin, to whom he reveals that Rooster's mother made him promise before she died that Rooster would not become a pilot. Rooster, unaware of the promise, resents Maverick for impeding his military career and blames him for his father's death. Maverick is reluctant to further interfere with Rooster's career, but the alternative is to send him on the extremely dangerous mission. He tells his doubts to Iceman who has throat cancer. Before dying, Iceman advises that "It's time to let go" and reassures him that "the Navy needs Maverick".

With Maverick's protector gone, Cyclone removes him as instructor following a training incident in which an F/A-18 is lost. Cyclone relaxes the mission parameters so they are easier to execute but make escape much more difficult. During Cyclone's announcement, Maverick makes an unauthorized flight through the training course with his preferred parameters, proving that it can be done. Cyclone reluctantly appoints Maverick as team leader.

Maverick flies the lead F/A-18E in the strike package, accompanied by a buddy lazing F/A-18F[e] flown by Lieutenant Natasha "Phoenix" Trace and WSO Lieutenant Robert "Bob" Floyd. Rooster leads the second strike pair, which includes Lieutenant Reuben "Payback" Fitch and WSO Lieutenant Mickey "Fanboy" Garcia. After the four jets launch from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, the guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf fires Tomahawk cruise missiles to destroy the nearby air base. The teams successfully destroy the plant but are engaged by SAMs during their escape. Rooster runs out of countermeasures, and Maverick sacrifices his jet to protect Rooster. Believing Maverick to be killed, the others are ordered back to the carrier. Rooster returns to find that Maverick safely ejected and is being targeted by an Mi-24 gunship. After destroying the gunship, he is shot down by a SAM and ejects. The two rendezvous and steal an F-14 Tomcat from the destroyed air base. Maverick and Rooster destroy two Su-57s, but a third arrives as they run out of ammunition and countermeasures. Hangman arrives from standby to shoot down the Su-57, and the planes return to the carrier.

Later, Rooster helps Maverick work on his P-51 Mustang. Rooster looks at a photo of their mission's success, pinned alongside a photo of his late father and a young Maverick, as Penny and Maverick fly off into the sunset in the P-51.

CastEdit

Anthony Edwards, Meg Ryan, and Aaron and Adam Weis appear as the Bradshaw family in archive footage from Top Gun, along with Kelly McGillis as Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood.

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

In 1990, during the promotion of Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Tom Cruise dismissed the notion of a sequel to Top Gun as "irresponsible".[17] Development of the film began in 2010 when Paramount Pictures made offers to Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott to make a sequel to Top Gun, with Tom Cruise reprising his role. When asked about his idea for a new Top Gun film, Scott replied, "This world fascinated me, because it's so different from what it was originally. But I don't want to do a remake. I don't want to do a reinvention. I want to do a new movie."[18] The film was reported to focus on the end of the dogfighting era[19] and the role of drones in modern aerial warfare[20] and that Cruise's character, Maverick, will fly an F/A-18 Super Hornet.[21] After Scott's suicide in 2012, the sequel's future remained in question, but producer Jerry Bruckheimer remained committed to the project, especially given Cruise's and Kilmer's interest.[22]

In June 2017, Cruise revealed that the sequel would be titled as Top Gun: Maverick, as he "did not need a number in all sequel titles".[23] He added that the film is "going to be a competition film, similar to the first one", but clarified it as "a progression for Maverick".[24][25] By July 2017, Joseph Kosinski was announced as the director, after previously collaborating with Cruise on Oblivion (2013).[26][27] Kosinski met with Cruise on the set of Mission: Impossible - Fallout, providing a lookbook, a poster, and a title, Top Gun: Maverick, prior to his hiring. Cruise then contacted Jim Gianopulos and requested to make the film.[28] On June 19, 2019, at CineEurope in Barcelona, attendees were able to watch for the first time some early footage of the film from a special Paramount presentation. During the presentation the President of International Theatrical Distribution Mark Viane and co-president of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution Mary Daily appeared in flight clothes, as a part of promotion.[29] In 2019, China's Tencent invested 12.5% of the film, but later pulled out of the project at the end of that year over concerns that the film's themes could anger the Chinese Government.[30]

WritingEdit

By mid-2010, Christopher McQuarrie received an offer to write the sequel's screenplay, which was rumored to have Cruise's character Maverick in a smaller role.[31] The following year, Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz were credited as screenwriters on the project.[32] The studio would later move onto Peter Craig to draft a new script under Scott's direction in March 2012.[33] However, the project was unexpectedly stalled due to Scott's suicide in August of that year.[34] In March 2014, Bruckheimer said the filmmakers were taking a new approach, which involved pilots being rendered obsolete by drones.[35] In September 2014, the sequel was officially revived with Justin Marks entering negotiations to write the screenplay.[36] Marks claimed that the sequel to Top Gun was his "dream project" and that the first film was "an iconic film in his memory" which inspired him to pursue his film career.[37] He researched the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35, for the Maverick's script to give an insight of "how Top Gun would be represented in the current period".[37]

"Maverick in that film was in his early twenties and now he's in his fifties. It had to be a different journey, but it was important it was a journey for a man at a different part of his life. We think of Top Gun as an action film, but I think of it as a drama. It has some incredible action scenes in it, but there is a drama at the center of it."

— Kosinski, on the new script of Top Gun: Maverick.[38]

Prior to his death, Scott had apparently finalized the script and began scouting locations. He and Cruise had toured Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, a week prior for research purposes.[39] The Hollywood Reporter stated the Top Gun sequel was one of three directing projects in "advanced development".[40]

During scripting discussions in Paris, where Cruise was shooting for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Kosinski pitched two ideas to Cruise.[41] The first, about the emotional core of the film, focused on the severed relationship between Maverick and Goose's son, set against a dangerous combat mission. The second focused on Maverick's current place in the Navy as part of the "Darkstar" program and the secrecy surrounding it.[41] With Kosinski in place as director, Only the Brave screenwriter Eric Warren Singer boarded the film to rewrite the script by August 2017.[42][43] In October 2018, McQuarrie, a frequent collaborator of Cruise, was brought in for rewrites during production.[44] McQuarrie opted to mostly ignore the first film during the writing process and even flew with the Blue Angels in preparation.[45] By January 2020, final screenplay credits were given to Ehren Kruger, Singer, and McQuarrie, while story credit was attributed to Craig and Marks.[46][47]

According to University of Georgia Professor Roger Stahl, open record requests have revealed that United States military officials were allowed to make changes to Top Gun: Maverick, including the insertion of "key talking points" such as foreign policy and recruitment. A top U.S. military recruiter told Fox News that "We want to take advantage of the opportunity to connect not just the movie and the idea of a military service, but the fact that we've got jobs and we've got recruiters waiting for them."[48]

CastingEdit

 
Jennifer Connelly (pictured in 2019) was cast as Cruise's love interest.

Cruise's involvement in Top Gun: Maverick was first announced in January 2016.[49] Val Kilmer, now cancer-free, had campaigned on his Facebook page to reprise his role in the film, saying later that he wasn't too proud to beg.[50] By June 2018, The Wrap reported that he would appear in the film.[51] While Bruckheimer and the filmmakers wanted to bring Kilmer back, Cruise was the one who insisted the most in allowing Kilmer to reprise his role.[52] A trailer released in March 2022, featured a photograph of Kilmer wearing a uniform of a four-star admiral. In July 2018, Miles Teller was cast in the role of Goose's son, against Nicholas Hoult and Glen Powell. All three were flown to Cruise's home for chemistry tests.[53] Later that month, Jennifer Connelly joined the film's cast to play a single mother running a bar near the naval base.[54][55]

In August 2018, Powell joined the cast of the film in a pilot trainee role that was enlarged for him, having impressed Cruise, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and executives at Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media, with his auditions.[56] That same month, Monica Barbaro, Thomasin McKenzie, Charles Parnell, Jay Ellis, Bashir Salahuddin, Danny Ramirez, Ed Harris, Jon Hamm and Lewis Pullman joined the cast of the film with Barbaro, Ellis, and Ramirez portraying aviator trainees and McKenzie portraying Connelly's daughter.[57][58][59] Hamm signed onto the film before he was even given an official offer or script.[60] In September 2018, Manny Jacinto joined the cast.[61] In October 2018, Kara Wang, Jack Schumacher, Greg Tarzan Davis, Jake Picking, Raymond Lee, Jean Louisa Kelly and Lyliana Wray joined the cast, with Wray replacing McKenzie.[62] McKenzie dropped out of the film after signing onto Lost Girls.[63] In November 2018, Chelsea Harris joined the cast in an undisclosed role.[64] Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan, who each appeared in the original film, were not asked to appear in the sequel.[65][66]

Lewis Hamilton was offered a role as one of the fighter pilots since he has a close relationship with Tom Cruise, according to an interview with Vanity Fair. He rejected the offer because of his Formula One commitments.[67]

FilmingEdit

To create the illusion that the actors were actually piloting the jets during flying scenes, the producers paid the Navy $11,374 per flight hour for F/A-18E (single seat) and F/A-18F (dual seat) Super Hornets and pilots to fly them. For external shots, real navy pilots flew the E version. For shots of the actors in flight, the F version was used with the actual pilot in the front seat.[68] At least one F/A-18F was rigged with special cameras to film an actor in the back seat. Cruise designed a unique three-month "boot camp" to train the actors with flying roles to get them used to aerobatics and high g-forces, and to build the spatial awareness they would need to operate the camera equipment. Some of the training was required by the Navy for passengers in tactical jets, including underwater evacuation.[69] Barbaro said the cast endured aerobatics riding in the Extra 300L flown by Chuck Coleman, including right before flights in the F/A-18F, to ensure their bodies had the required tolerance.[70] The actors also had to learn lighting, cinematography, and editing to properly run the cameras, because, as Bruckheimer put it, "when they're up in the jet they have to direct themselves essentially."[71]

Preliminary production on the film officially started on May 30, 2018, in San Diego, California.[72][73] During late August a 15-person film crew from Paramount and Bruckheimer Films were aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to shoot flight deck operations.[74][75] In mid-February 2019, Cruise and the production crew were sighted on board USS Theodore Roosevelt at NAS North Island.[76] In March, filming was completed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Washington.[77] On June 19, 2019, Miles Teller revealed in an interview that he had finished filming two days earlier.[78] Principal photography was scheduled until April 15, 2019, in San Diego, Lemoore, China Lake,[79] Chico,[80] and Lake Tahoe in California;[81] Seattle, Washington;[82] and Patuxent River, Maryland.[83] The post-production and editing works were supervised by Kosinski, at his home during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.[84]

The film was shot in IMAX format using IMAX-Certified Sony Venice 6K Full Frame cameras.[85] Kosinski explained that the team spent more than a year with Navy forces to use the IMAX cameras inside the cockpit, with four cameras facing toward the actors and two facing forward, in addition to cameras mounted all over the exteriors of the aircraft. He explained that "the audience should feel the authenticity, strain, speed and gravitational forces, something that cannot be achieved through soundstage or visual effects, which needed a tremendous amount of effort and work."[38] He added that more than 800 hours of footage has been shot for the film, exceeding the combined footage shot for the films in the Lord of The Rings trilogy.[86] Aerial footage was also recorded using modified Aero L-39 Albatros jets with cameras on their noses.[87]

Aircraft designEdit

DarkstarEdit

The fictional "Darkstar" aircraft was designed with the assistance of engineers from Lockheed Martin and its Skunk Works division. A full-scale mockup of the aircraft was built and filmed at China Lake.[88] Kosinski said "The reason we approached Skunk Works is because I wanted to make the most realistic hypersonic aircraft we possibly could. In fact, as you saw, we built it full-scale in cooperation with them. But the reason it looks so real is because it was the engineers from Skunk Works who helped us design it. So those are the same people who are working on real aircraft who helped us design Darkstar for this film."[89] Lockheed explicitly denied that Darkstar is related to the uncrewed Lockheed Martin SR-72, which the company has never confirmed as existing.[90]

F-14Edit

Production designer Jeremy Hindle stated that using the F-14 Tomcat from the first film was difficult, as "There are no F-14s that fly because they [have been decommissioned in the U.S.] and all the engines have been taken out of them."[91] He also added that they were not able to use the active F-14 Tomcats present in Iran, the only other country that acquired the aircraft. The country is also the main reason why the U.S. scuttled or disabled its vast F-14 fleet once they were retired (in order to prevent the illicit export of spare parts).[92]

With help from the Navy the production team secured one F-14A from the San Diego Air & Space Museum in California.[93] Hindle described further challenges, including dismantling and shipping the plane's components, and making the aircraft as functional as possible, though still without engines.[91] For other planes including the F/A-18F, they acquired 20 working aircraft from all over the country.[91] Hindle said that Kosinski had made specifications for every detail to be designed, including the helmets, suits, props and several others. An old military bar was constructed in the beach side in Los Angeles. The props were made of steel and assembled off-site for visual inspection, then dismantled and re-built on set.[91]

Post-productionEdit

In an interview with C.W. Lemoine, one of the VFX artists on the special effects team, Fred Lyn, stated that the use of CGI was extensive in the film with the F-14 and Su-57 visualized entirely by computer.[94] Lyn also stated that the F/A-18 scenes predominantly involved a single jet, which was then put through CGI to create the dogfight training scenes that depicted multiple jets.[94] The four-jet strike force at the end of the film was also created through CGI from a single F/A-18.[94]

The film's 700 VFX shots were created by four studios, with Method Studios completing a majority of the work in conjunction with MPC, Lola VFX, and Blind LTD. Previs was carried out by Intelligent Species. Production VFX Supervisor Ryan Tudhope coordinated the integration of various VFX components used in the film.[95] Skywalker Sound worked on sound design, mixing, and audio post-production for the film. They were tasked with creating aviation sound effects, working closely with GE Aviation, a jet engine manufacturer out of Cincinnati.[96] Final sound mixes, carried out by London-based Twickenham Film Studios, were completed in Dolby Atmos and IMAX during the middle of the pandemic. Recording mixers Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor worked in two theaters with different audio configurations to complete the mixes, which took place from June–July 2020.[97]

Following his treatment and operation for throat cancer, Val Kilmer lost his ability to speak effectively.[98] In 2021, he worked with Sonantic, a UK-based software company that specializes in voice synthesis, to digitally recreate his voice using AI technology and archived audio recordings of his voice.[99] The collaboration with Sonantic led to a successful vocal model program that Kilmer could apply in future projects, including his voice recreation in Top Gun: Maverick.[99][100]

Footage from the original film was used in a scene where Maverick watches Rooster playing "Great Balls of Fire" on the piano, invoking memories of Goose's family and death.[101] The footage was used as a flashback, which was not planned in the original script; Joseph Kosinski introduced the idea during the film editing phase to help explain the characters' relationship and to deepen the emotional conflicts involved.[102]

MusicEdit

The film's score was composed by Harold Faltermeyer, Lady Gaga, and Hans Zimmer and produced by Lorne Balfe. The soundtrack was released on May 27, 2022, through Interscope Records. It was promoted by two singles, "Hold My Hand" by Lady Gaga and "I Ain't Worried" by OneRepublic. From the first film, the score also incorporates elements of the original "Top Gun Anthem",[103][104] and the song Danger Zone, composed by Giorgio Moroder and sung by Kenny Loggins.[105]

MarketingEdit

The film's first teaser trailer premiered during a surprise appearance by Cruise at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con on July 18, 2019.[106][107] The first trailer received high praise from fans, with many lauding the return of the series and some comparing it to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.[108] The Hollywood Reporter wrote that some fans noticed that the flag of the Republic of China (the flag used by the government of the Republic of China based on the island of Taiwan) and the Flag of Japan were missing from the flight jacket of Cruise's character and accused Paramount of removing it to appease China-based co-financier Tencent Pictures.[109] However, the Republic of China and Japanese flags were later restored, as Tencent would end up pulling out of the production, leading to them being uncredited in the final film.[110] The second trailer was released in December 2019,[111] and a new Snapchat filter for the film was introduced by Paramount, to engage "young-generation audiences".[112]

In February 2020, toy manufacturer Matchbox (owned by Mattel) announced that they were releasing a series of Top Gun die-cast models and products, including the F-14 Tomcat, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and the P-51 Mustang, as well as role play items. They were scheduled for public release on June 1, 2020, despite the delayed theatrical release.[113] In June 2020, plastic model manufacturer Revell released a series of 1/48 scale Top Gun plastic models, including an F-14A Tomcat and an F/A-18E Super Hornet based upon the aircraft in the movie. These are versions of previous Revell offerings with modified decals and markings.[114] In July 2020, Hasbro announced a Top Gun themed Transformers toy, "Maverick", which released later in the year.[115] Hasbro later re-released the toy as a Walmart exclusive to tie into the film's final release date.

On August 26, 2021, the first 13 minutes of the film were previewed at CinemaCon along with a new trailer with Tom Cruise marking his presence virtually at the event.[116] In January 2022, CBS Sports released a new clip from the film, coinciding with the final match of Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals on AFC Championship.[117] In February 2022, the final trailer of the film tied to Porsche was aired before Super Bowl LVI.[118] In April 2022, Project ACES, the developers of the Ace Combat series, announced the release of an aircraft collaboration DLC for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown with Top Gun: Maverick, released on May 26, one day before the film's release.[119][120] A free expansion based on Top Gun Maverick was also released for Microsoft Flight Simulator on the same day, containing the F/A-18E/F Superhornet and fictional "Darkstar" planes as playable aircraft.[121] An interactive website was also launched on the same month.[122] On May 23, Cruise collaborated with The Late Late Show host James Corden for recreating a fighter sequence as a part of promotions.[123][124]

A three-week promotional tour was conducted in Mexico City, Tokyo, Cannes, London, San Diego and Los Angeles.[125] Event Cinemas announced Top Gun: Maverick Collector Combo, featuring a medium large salt-popcorn with refreshments in a collector cup, being marketed with stills featuring Cruise.[126] Other marketing deals were arranged with Applebee's restaurant chains[127] and Vudu.[128]

ReleaseEdit

TheatricalEdit

Top Gun: Maverick was released theatrically by Paramount Pictures in the United States on May 27, 2022, with advance screenings starting the day before.[129] It was originally scheduled to be released on July 12, 2019, but was delayed to June 26, 2020, in order to shoot several complex action sequences.[7] By March 2020, Paramount moved the film up two days early on June 24, 2020,[130] and it was then moved to December 23 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic declared by the World Health Organization.[131][132] On July 23, 2020, the film was delayed again to July 2, 2021, due in part to scheduling conflicts with Cruise, as well as the recent delays of Mulan and Tenet due to the rise of COVID-19 cases,[133] and was further delayed to November 19, 2021,[134] before finalizing the May 2022 release date.[129]

The film had its world premiere at CinemaCon on April 28, 2022, followed by a global premiere hosted at the San Diego Civic Theatre in San Diego, California, on May 4, which was also streamed live through YouTube.[135][136] It also screened at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18 in an Official Selection Screening, where it received a five-minute standing ovation from the audience. The Cannes premiere included a tribute to Cruise and his career.[137][138] The following day it had its UK premiere at the Royal Film Performance in London's Leicester Square with the cast meeting Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, this event was held in aid of the Film & TV Charity.[139] ScreenX theaters[140] and AMC Theatres[141][142] held Early Access Event screenings at limited locations across the United States on May 24, 2022.

Home mediaEdit

Netflix, Apple TV+ and HBO Max attempted to purchase the distribution rights to the film, but Paramount refused to sell them. Bruckheimer, when asked about them and other streaming services attempting to purchase the distribution rights to the film at the film's premiere at CinemaCon, said that the film had always had a big-screen destination. At the film's premiere at Cannes, Cruise also denied that the film was going to streaming.[143][144][145] Despite the model that most films debut on streaming 45 days after their theatrical releases,[146] Paramount decided to keep Top Gun: Maverick in cinemas for an extended run due to Cruise's insistence and the successive week-to-week box office results of the film. The film will be released for streaming on August 23, 2022, followed by the 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD releases on November 1, 2022. It includes four featurettes, on the making of the film, Cruise discusses his career at Cannes Film Festival and two music videos featured in the film.[147]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

As of August 17, 2022, Top Gun: Maverick has grossed $676.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $704.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1.381 billion.[3][4] The film surpassed Mission: Impossible – Fallout on June 17, 2022 to become the highest-grossing film of Cruise's career after crossing $800 million worldwide.[148] On June 26, the film crossed $1 billion, becoming the second film to do so during the pandemic era after Spider-Man: No Way Home, as well as becoming the highest-grossing film of 2022.[149][150]

In the United States and Canada, the film grossed $126.7 million in its opening three-day weekend and $160.5 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, finishing first at the box office and nearly doubling Cruise's previous career best. The film also has the largest Memorial Day four-day opening weekend.[151] In its second weekend, it grossed $90 million; the 29% drop was the smallest-ever for a film that had an opening of over $100 million, surpassing Shrek 2 (33% drop in its second weekend from a $108 million debut in May 2004).[152] The film was dethroned by newcomer Jurassic World Dominion in its third weekend, though still grossed $51.9 million.[153] On June 13, 2022, Top Gun: Maverick became the first film of 2022 to cross the $400 million mark in the U.S. and Canada.[154] The film remained in the top five at the box office throughout its first ten weeks of release.[155] The film finally dropped out of the top five at the box office in its 11th weekend, finishing sixth with $7 million.[156] In its 12th weekend the film was re-released in over 400 theaters and made $7.1 million, returning to second place.[157][158][159] Box office analysts attributed the film's longevity at the box office to positive critical reviews and word of mouth.[160][161]

Outside the US and Canada, the film grossed $124 million from 62 markets in its opening weekend. It was Cruise's biggest opening ever in 32 of those markets and Paramount's best opening for a live-action film in 18 of them. The largest markets in its opening weekend were the United Kingdom ($19.4 million), France ($11.7 million), Australia ($10.7 million), Japan ($9.7 million), and Germany ($6.5 million). The film had the best debut of Cruise's career in the Middle East ($6.3 million), Brazil ($5.3 million), the Netherlands ($2.4 million), Sweden ($2.2 million), Belgium ($1.7 million), New Zealand ($1.4 million), Poland ($1.2 million), Argentina ($1.2 million), Finland ($1.1 million), and Portugal ($770,000). IMAX accounted for $10.4 million of its opening weekend outside the US and Canada.[162] The following weekend, it made $85.8 million, a mere 16% drop that included $18.5 million from IMAX screenings. Deadline Hollywood noted France's ability to deliver another $21 million that weekend despite poor weather across the country.[163] As of August 14, 2022, the top markets are the United Kingdom ($97.2 million), Japan ($82 million), South Korea ($62.8 million), Australia ($61.6 million), and France ($52.8 million).[164]

Critical responseEdit

 
Tom Cruise's work in the film was widely acclaimed, with some critics calling it one of the best of his career.[11]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 96% of 435 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.2/10. The website's consensus reads, "Top Gun: Maverick pulls off a feat even trickier than a 4G inverted dive, delivering a long-belated sequel that surpasses its predecessor in wildly entertaining style."[165] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 78 out of 100, based on 63 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[166] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a rare "A+" grade on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported 96% of audience members gave it a positive score, with 84% saying they would definitely recommend it.[151]

Pete Hammond of Deadline Hollywood called the sequel better than the original movie.[167] The New York Times-based critic A. O. Scott called it a "thin, over-strenuous and sometimes very enjoyable movie" and "an earnest statement of the thesis that movies can and should be great".[168] Peter Bradshaw wrote in The Guardian: "Cruise presides over some surprising differences from his first outing as the navy pilot hotshot in a film that's missing the homoerotic tensions of the 80s original".[169] Alonso Duralde of TheWrap called the movie "another cornball male weepie and military recruitment ad that feels like every WWII movie got fed into an algorithm", and wrote that the movie "counts as a worthy sequel in that it succeeds and fails in many of the same ways as the original" and added that "the flying sequences are breathtaking enough to make you forget that these guys and gals are engaging in the kind of combat scenarios that start wars."[170]

Entertainment.ie's Brian Lloyd's 4-star review said the film "exceeds with flying colours" and "exists in a world that is all of its own making. There are golden sunsets, perfectly crisp white t-shirts, exquisitely coiffed hair, and long-held flames of romance that make it all impossible to resist."[171] Clarrise Loughery, chief editor of The Independent, wrote that the film is "as thrilling as blockbusters get. It's the kind of edge-of-your-seat, fist-pumping spectacular that can unite an entire room full of strangers sitting in the dark and leave them with a wistful tear in their eye."[172] Richard Brody of The New Yorker wrote, "The new film, less of a sequel than a renovation, infuses the 1986 drama of airborne combat with today's politics."[173] Tomris Larfy of RogerEbert.com wrote, "Equally worthy of that big screen is the emotional strokes of Maverick that pack an unexpected punch."[174]

Tatsam Mukherjee of Firstpost wrote that the film reminded him of James Mangold's Ford v Ferrari (2019), and commended the coordination between "man and machine". He added, "At the forefront of this clash is a man named Tom Cruise, who wants nothing less than our jaws on the floor. Proving that no amount of multiverse films or superstar cameos will replace the blood, sweat and adrenaline of an actor legitimately trying to push the boundaries of filmmaking. We can be rest assured that if it's a Tom Cruise film, he will not let us down."[175] Chris Bumbray of JoBlo.com called the film as "a thrill ride of the highest order" and wrote, "If you're a fan of the original, this will blow you away – but even if you don't love the 1986 classic (blasphemy), this has a lot to offer."[176]

On August 3, 2022, during a ReelBlend podcast, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino stated: "I fucking love Top Gun: Maverick. I thought it was fantastic. I saw it at the theaters. That and [Steven] Spielberg's West Side Story both provided a true cinematic spectacle, the kind that I'd almost thought that I wasn't going to see anymore." A long-time admirer of the original Top Gun director, the late Tony Scott (and whom he worked with on True Romance and Crimson Tide), Tarantino added: “There was just this lovely, lovely aspect because I love both Tony Scott's cinema so much, and I love Tony so much that that's as close as we're ever going to get to seeing one more Tony Scott movie ... The respect and the love of Tony was in every frame. It was almost in every decision. It was consciously right there, but in this really cool way that was really respectful. And I think it was in every decision Tom [Cruise] made on the film.”[177]

Al-Jazeera gave a negative review, stating "It is high time for Hollywood to end its lucrative partnership with the US military".[178] Vanity Fair also gave a negative review: "Top Gun: Maverick is the right's latest culture-war crusade".[179]

AccoladesEdit

Award Date of Ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Film Awards July 1, 2022 Best Picture Top Gun: Maverick Nominated [180]
Best Director Joseph Kosinski Nominated
Best Actor Tom Cruise Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Miles Teller Nominated
Location Managers Guild Awards August 27, 2022 Outstanding Locations in a Contemporary Film Top Gun: Maverick Pending [181]
Golden Trailer Awards October 6, 2022 Best Action Top Gun: Maverick ("Back") Pending [182]
Best Summer 2022 Blockbuster Trailer Pending
Best Action TV Spot Top Gun: Maverick Pending
Best Action/Thriller TrailerByte for a Feature Film Top Gun: Maverick ("Aviator") Pending
Best BTS/EPK for a Feature Film (Over 2 Minutes) Top Gun: Maverick ("Ground to Air") Pending
World Soundtrack Awards October 22, 2022 Best Original Song "Hold My Hand" Pending [183]
Saturn Awards October 25, 2022 Best Action/Adventure Film Top Gun: Maverick Pending [184]
Best Actor in a Film Tom Cruise Pending
Best Film Direction Joseph Kosinski Pending
Best Film Editing Eddie Hamilton Pending
Best Film Visual/Special Effects Scott R. Fisher, Ryan Tudhope Pending

LawsuitEdit

In June 2022, the family of Israeli-Jewish author Ehud Yonay, who wrote the California magazine article "Top Guns" in May 1983 that inspired the first film, sued Paramount for copyright infringement over the release of Top Gun: Maverick and sought damages as well as an injunction against the film's distribution. Jerry Bruckheimer produced the original film, whose screenplay was written by Jim Cash (died 2000) and Jack Epps Jr.; all three men participated in the sequel.[185] According to the lawsuit, Paramount had obtained exclusive film rights to Yonay's article but ignored the 35-year copyright law, wherein the rights reverted to Yonay's widow Shosh and son Yuval in January 2020 after the writer's death in 2012.[186]

The lawsuit claims that Maverick contains elements similar to the original article and that Paramount continued with the filming, even after receiving notice of the copyright's termination. The film distributor considers most of the sequel to have been complete before then, and denies that Maverick is derived from Yonay's article.[187][188]

FutureEdit

In May 2022, Miles Teller stated that he had been pitching a follow-up film centered around his character to the studio. The actor referred to his pitch as Top Gun: Rooster.[189] By July of the same year, he stated that he has been having ongoing discussions regarding a sequel with Tom Cruise.[190]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ While Faltermeyer, Gaga, and Zimmer were credited with "music by", Balfe received a "score produced by" credit.
  2. ^ As depicted in Top Gun (1986).
  3. ^ Navy Personnel Command stated that a Captain with more than 35 years of service like Maverick would be very unusual, but not impossible.[12]
  4. ^ Although not specified in the film, the Su-57 is referred to by its NATO reporting name "Felon"[13]
  5. ^ A two-seat F/A-18 points a laser at the target to assist other strike aircraft in dropping their laser-guided bombs, a tactic known as buddy lazing.[14]
  6. ^ Penny Benjamin's name was given in the previous movie by Goose to identify the "admiral's daughter" mentioned by the air group commander, Commander Tom "Stinger" Jardian, and later Carole Bradshaw, Goose's wife, mentioned Penny Benjamin by name.

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