Tom Cruise was already a well known young actor before 1986, with movies such as Risky Business, The Outsiders, and Legend marking him out as a rising talent. But it was the release of Top Gun that summer that made him a superstar. Directed by Tony Scott, Top Gun explored life amongst a group of trainee fighter pilots and mixed drama, romance, and incredible aerial action, with an era-defining soundtrack and career-making performance from Cruise. Top Gun was the most successful film of 1986 and despite the mixed reviews at the time, it is now one of the decade’s most-loved films.
Rumors of a potential sequel first emerged in 2015, and the following year, producer Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed that he and Cruise had discussed a new Top Gun movie. In May 2018, Cruise announced that Top Gun: Maverick had started production with a tweet showing his character of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell looking out across a runway at his F-14A Tomcat.
Cruise’s most successful franchise is, of course, the Mission Impossible movies; 20 years and six movies down the line, we know what to expect from a new M:I movie. Top Gun is different. 34 years between films is an eternity in sequel-obsessed Hollywood, and many viewers who will watch the movie next summer won’t have even been born when Top Gun was first released. So it will be fascinating to see how Cruise and director Joseph Kosinski balance the need to tell a new, modern story while still delivering the nostalgia hit expected by long-time fans. Although we’re still 11 months away from its release, we already know quite a bit about what to expect from the film. So here’s everything we know so far about Top Gun: Maverick…