As the highest-grossing film of the year, and the highest-grossing film of Tom Cruise’s career, Top Gun: Maverick is truly showing that it is the “top gun” at the box office this year – also becoming only the second film to earn more than a billion dollars during the “pandemic era.” The film has certainly scored a direct hit with viewers and critics alike.
It was announced on Monday that the film was nominated for a Golden Globe for best picture, and Oscar buzz is already heating up.
With the film soaring high, there has even been talk of yet another sequel.
Could we see a Top Gun trilogy?
Given that Hollywood likes to create more of the same, and audiences have a penchant for trilogies, it is possible. However, Top Gun: Maverick was delayed multiple times due to an extended production, and then pushed back because of the pandemic – and only came out 36 years after the release of the original Top Gun.
As Cruise hit the big 6-0 this year, the next entry in the series would need to hit the afterburners – or else Maverick might be too old to climb into the cockpit, even if the next Indiana Jones film will star an 80-year-old Harrison Ford.
Top Gun: Could Another Sequel Work?
Though some modern franchises are tailor-made for an endless cycle of sequels, Top Gun needs a deeper and more grounded story than a Marvel superhero or a Fast & the Furious heist. However, director Joseph Kosinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer said they believed there was still “gas left in the tank” in Maverick’s F/A-18 Super Hornet.
The creative duo recently spoke at Deadline’s Contenders LA3C panel, where they also detailed the physical limits to which each actor was willing to push themselves in order to bring the picture to life. They explained that Cruise even devised a three-month course for all the actors, which began with working with a “simple airplane” before working “their way up to the Navy jet.”
The success of the recent film does beg the question of whether a sequel could already be in the works.
“Is there another story that is compelling enough that we need to go back? It seems to me at the end of this film that Maverick has some gas left in the tank. He’s not settling down,” Kosinski.
Would Need a Blockbuster Budget
It wouldn’t come cheap – and thus could be a gamble, especially if it involved actual U.S. military aircraft. According to Fortune magazine, the studio had paid as much as $11,374 an hour to use the advanced fighter planes in the making of the film, but with the caveat that Cruise – an accomplished pilot in his own right – couldn’t actually touch the controls even as he was seen in the cockpit of a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet.
Pentagon regulations bar non-military personnel from controlling any Department of Defense (DoD) assets apart from small arms in training scenarios.
Perhaps with some movie magic, it would be possible to see Maverick behind the controls of an F-35.
If they can de-age Indiana Jones, anything is possible.
A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.