Do you feel the need? The need for speed? It’s been nearly four decades since Top Gun drilled that catchphrase into our collective psyches. Later this week, Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick. In the sequel, Maverick is training a new generation of Top Gun pilots, and he takes that duty seriously. Cruise also felt it was important to teach the new group of actors how to convincingly portray elite pilots. And as seen in a new featurette, Cruise insisted that the new performers learn how to fly for their roles.
As depicted in the video, the cast went through several months of training for the film. Perhaps the most harrowing part of that training was a simulated underwater evacuation. From there, the actors were taught how to fly their own planes in stages, and how to handle movement and spatial awareness inside the cockpit. However, Cruise and company took it a step further. Not only were the actors flying their planes, but they were also filming their in-cockpit footage for the movie. That’s the kind of thing they don’t teach you in film school!
Here’s the official synopsis for the film, courtesy of Paramount Pictures:
“After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise) 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 (Miles Teller), call sign: ‘Rooster,’ the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka ‘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.”
Jennifer Connelly also stars in the film as Penny Benjamin, with Jon Hamm as Vice Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson, Glen Powell as Lieutenant Jake “Hangman” Seresin, Ed Harris as Rear Admiral Chester “Hammer” Cain, Monica Barbaro as Lieutenant Natasha “Phoenix” Trace, Jay Ellis as Lieutenant Reuben “Payback” Fitch, Danny Ramirez as Lieutenant Mickey “Fanboy” Garcia, Greg Tarzan Davis as Lieutenant Javy “Coyote” Machado, and Charles Parnell as Rear Admiral Solomon “Warlock” Bates. Val Kilmer will also briefly reprise his role as Maverick’s friend and former rival, Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky.
Joseph Kosinski directed the film from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie. Peter Craig and Justin Marks came up with the story for the sequel. Top Gun: Maverick will hit theaters this Friday, May 27.
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