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Tom Cruise Basically Got Top Gun: Maverick Greenlit By Picking Up The Phone And


It’s become more common nowadays for popular movies to score sequels/follow-ups decades later. In fact, the most commercially successful movie of 2022 falls into this “legacyquel” category, with Top Gun: Maverick soaring past $1 billion worldwide on top of earning critical acclaim. So how did Tom Cruise arrange for his return to the role Pete “Maverick” Mitchell? According to producer Jerry Bruckheimer, it was as simple as calling Paramount Pictures and telling the studio he was doing it.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Jerry Bruckheimer on behalf of the Top Gun: Maverick digital rollout. After noting how the sequel had been in development since 2010 and hit a setback when Tony Scott, the original Top Gun’s director who’d been slated to reprise his helming duties, died in 2012, I asked Bruckheimer at what point he and the other creative minds behind Maverick decided that it was still worth moving forward with the movie. He responded:

Well, Tom felt that Maverick was an iconic character in his filmography, and if he was gonna make a sequel, it had to hit a bullet with a bullet. And Joe Kosinski came up with an idea we’d been toying around with, but Joe kind of capsulated it. And we flew to Paris while Tom was making Mission: Impossible, and Joe had a notebook and sat down with Tom and said, ‘Here’s  a story I want to tell, and here’s what it’s going to look like.’ And Tom looked at him and said, ‘Look, Joe, if we’re gonna make this, we’re gonna make it real. I want everybody in those planes, I wanna feel it.’ And Joe said, ‘That’s the only way I want to make it.’ And Tom picked up his phone and called the head of the studio at the time and said, ‘I want to make another Top Gun.’ And of course they were delighted.



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