Top Gun: Maverick Director Reveals How Tom Cruise Was Convinced To Return For A Sequel

Top Gun: Maverick was as big a hit as anybody could have possibly imagined. While technically not the highest grossing movie of 2022, it’s still one of the highest grossing movies of all-time worldwide. For so many fans who thought they’d never see the Top Gun sequel, the film is quite a big deal, and we all have director Joseph Kosinki to thank for convincing Tom Cruise to make the movie.

While Tom Cruise publicly expressed interest in making a Top Gun 2 for a long time, Kosinski tells Deadline that, especially following the suicide of Tony Scott, the director of the original film, Cruise actually needed to be convinced. That didn’t stop Kosinski from pitching his idea for a sequel to Cruise. The director explains…

Tom really didn’t want to make another Top Gun and [director Tony Scott’s suicide] made it even less likely. I’m sure for him, that’s probably another reason why he wouldn’t ever consider going back. But I pitched the idea of this story being a reconciliation between him and Rooster set against this mission that would take Rooster into this very dangerous situation, that they’d end up together across enemy lines, having to resolve their differences and work together to get back home.

It seems that what Tom Cruise needed was a reason to make a sequel. Specifically, he needed a story that he felt gave the character Maverick a reason to be back on the screen. This idea, of building the movie around the relationship between Maverick and Rooster, the son of Goose, played by Miles Teller, was apparently the spark that lit a fire in Cruise. Even so, Kosinski says Cruise was acutely aware of just how high the stakes were. Kosinski continued…

As soon as I pitched that idea, I could just see the wheels in Tom’s head start to turn and all of a sudden, he had a very emotional reason, a hook back into this character, and a reason to come back, because I think in his mind it was like a one in a million shot that we would be able to get it right. He kept saying, ‘Joe, we got to hit a bullet with a bullet.’ And that was his line on this movie. And so, I certainly heard that in my head every day as we were making the film. I think everyone who worked on this film felt like the bar was very high because we all were fans of the original.

 Top Gun is one of the most popular movies ever made. Fans had been waiting decades for a sequel. Tom Cruise seems to have understood that simply making a good enough movie wasn’t good enough. They needed to meet or exceed the success of the first movie, and there was know way to be sure that they would be successful, no matter how good everybody believed the story was. We know just how much work they put in to make Maverick‘s jet action perfect.

Yet somehow, they absolutely did “hit a bullet with a bullet” and they made Top Gun: Maverick everything it needed to be. Fans love it, critics love it. It made nearly $1.5 billion at the global box office, and to top it all off Maverick could end up winning some major awards, as many think it’s a movie we could see at the Oscars. 

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