The need for speed is still alive and kicking! ‘Top Gun 2’ will finally be flying into theaters at the end of 2021. Here are all the latest updates on the release date, cast, and more.
Top Gun 2, formally known as Top Gun: Maverick, is one of the most highly-anticipated movies ever. The sequel comes 35 years after the release of the first film, and Tom Cruise is back in the cockpit. Top Gun was a box office blockbuster when it was released in 1986, making over $350 million, and expectations are very high for the sequel.
Fans have been anxiously awaiting Top Gun: Maverick. From the trailers to the interviews, this movie is not going to disappoint. HollywoodLife has rounded up all the key news you need to know about Top Gun 2, including the latest release date, the star-studded cast, and more.
‘Top Gun 2’: What To Know About ‘Maverick’
The Top Gun sequel was officially confirmed in 2017. Tom Cruise made the announcement on the Australian morning show Sunrise in May 2017. “It is definitely happening,” he said at the time. He also confirmed the title would be Top Gun: Maverick. Filming began in 2018 and ended in 2019.
The official synopsis for Top Gun: Maverick is:
“After more than 30 years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw, call sign “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, a.k.a. “Goose.” Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.”
Tom surprised fans at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019 when he debuted the highly-anticipated first trailer for Top Gun: Maverick. “You should be at least a 2-star admiral by now. Yet here you are… Captain. Why is that?” Ed Harris’s character asks Tom’s Maverick in the trailer. Maverick responds, “One of life’s mysteries, sir.” The trailer is full of action-packed moments and ends with Ed’s character saying, “The end is inevitable, Maverick. Your kind is headed for extinction.” Maverick, quoting a bit from Arya Stark, says, “Maybe so, sir. But not today.” The second trailer was released in December 2019.
The cast and crew really felt the need for speed while filming Top Gun: Maverick. There is no CGI used in the sequel. “There is no green screen in a Top Gun movie,” Miles Teller told Men’s Journal. “Every shot, every stunt, was the result of the work, the real sweat, that we all put into it. The production was over the course of a full year, which was definitely the longest shoot I have ever been a part of.”
In June 2020, Skydance tweeted a video from the set of the sequel. “No CGI here,” the tweet read.
— Skydance (@Skydance) June 10, 2020
Tom was adamant about not using CGI. He was determined to have the cast be in real fighter jets and use practical effects and no green screen. “What’s different about this movie is that [in Top Gun] we put the actors in the F-14s and we couldn’t use one frame of it, except some stuff on Tom, because they all threw up,” producer Jerry Bruckheimer revealed to Empire. “It’s hysterical to see their eyes roll back in their heads. So everything was done on a gimbal. But in this movie, Tom wanted to make sure the actors could actually be in the F-18s.”
Tom added, “I said to the studio, ‘You don’t know how hard this movie’s going to be. No one’s ever done this before. There’s never been an aerial sequence shot this way. I don’t know if there ever will be again, to be honest.”
The Release Date
Top Gun 2 has had multiple release dates. The release date for Top Gun: Maverick has changed several times over the course of the last 3 years. The movie was originally scheduled to be released on July 12, 2019. In 2018, Top Gun 2 was delayed until June 26, 2020. The release date was moved up two days to June 24 a month before Top Gun: Maverick was delayed to December 23, 2020, due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
A few months later in July 2020, the film was once again delayed to July 2, 2021. That release date stuck until April 2021 when Top Gun: Maverick was delayed again to November 19, 2021, which is now the official release date. Let’s hope it sticks.
November 19 was originally the release date for Tom’s other upcoming blockbuster, Mission: Impossible 7, but that movie has since been moved to May 27, 2022. Top Gun: Maverick will be available to stream on Paramount+ 45 days after its original theatrical release.
The Cast Of ‘Top Gun 2’
The cast of Top Gun: Maverick is absolutely stacked. Tom Cruise is back as the one and only Maverick, reprising the role he made famous over 30 years later. Val Kilmer will also be returning to the role of Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, who was Maverick’s main rival in the first film. Val was confirmed to reprise the role of Iceman by The Wrap in 2018 after previously teasing his return on his Facebook page.
Miles Teller was cast as Goose’s son, Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, in 2018. Rooster is a pilot trainee following in his late father’s footsteps. Rooster’s father, the beloved “Goose” (Anthony Edwards), died in the original Top Gun. “Playing Goose’s kid and getting to continue that storyline that was established in such a powerful way all those years ago, there is a lot of history there. I think when [the] audience realizes the character I play is that tiny kid they saw in the original, it is going to hit,” Miles told Men’s Journal.
Glen Powell went out for the role of Rooster, but Miles was ultimately cast as Goose’s son. However, Glen impressed Tom, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and execs at Paramount and Skydance so much they set out to find another role for him in the sequel, THR reported. The Top Gun 2 team was “so intent on having Powell that they are beefing up the role for him.” Not much is known about his character, only that he goes by “Hangman.”
Top Gun: Maverick will also star Jennifer Connelly, who plays Penny Benjamin. Penny is a single mom who runs a bar near the Navy base. Jon Hamm and Ed Harris play Vice Admiral Cyclone and Rear Admiral, respectively.
Jon raved to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY in 2020 that it was “a phenomenal experience working with Tom. [I] really, really enjoyed it. He’s such a great guy and he’s such a wonderful actor. And it has to be very strange to revisit a role after 30 years that kind of defined your career.”
Other cast members include Lewis Pullman as Bob, Monica Barbaro as “Phoenix,” Danny Ramirez as “Fanboy,” Manny Jacinto as “Fritz,” Jay Ellis as “Payback,” Bashir Salahuddin as “Coleman,” Jake Picking, Raymond Lee, Chelsea Harris, Kara Wang, Jack Schumacher, Greg Tarzan Davis, and Lyliana Wray.
Jean Louisa Kelly has been cast in Top Gun: Maverick, with rumors swirling she’ll be playing Carole Bradshaw, Goose’s widow. Paramount Pictures has not officially announced this, but Meg Ryan is not returning to the role in the sequel.
Kelly McGillis, who played Charlie, Maverick’s love interest in the first movie, will not be reprising her role. She revealed she wasn’t asked to be a part of the sequel in a 2019 interview. “You know what, I don’t know how to answer that because one, it hasn’t happened,” Kelly told ET when she was asked if should attend any of Top Gun 2’s promotional events. “Two, if and when it did happen, I would have to assess where I am, what I’m doing, what’s going on … I can’t project what I would or wouldn’t do in the future. I have no idea because I don’t know where I’ll be.” Kelly currently lives in North Carolina.