With the film scheduled to hit theaters in June 2020, here’s everything we know about the Top Gun sequel so far.
- Title: Top Gun: Maverick
- Release date: June 26, 2020
- Cast: Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly
- Director: Joseph Kosinski
Originally scheduled to hit theaters in July 2019, Top Gun: Maverick had its premiere pushed back almost a year by Paramount Pictures. The studio announced that the film’s new release date will be June 26, 2020.
The film brings back original Top Gun star Tom Cruise as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, the hotshot pilot character that helped make Cruise a superstar. He’ll reportedly be joined by Val Kilmer, reprising his role as Maverick’s rival, Tom “Iceman” Kazansky.
As for the actor filling one of the film’s primary legacy roles, Whiplash actor Miles Teller will portray the son of Maverick’s former wingman, Goose, who was played by Anthony Edwards in the first film. Teller and Hidden Figures actor Glen Powell (who played astronaut John Glenn in the film) were the final two contenders for the role. Despite Teller winning the part, Powell’s audition reportedly impressed the Top Gun producers enough to earn him a different, unidentified role in the film.
In July, A Beautiful Mind actress Jennifer Connelly (below) was reported to be in talks to play the female lead in the film. The Academy Award winner is expected to play a single mother who runs a local bar near the Naval base where the story is set.
The danger zone got a little more crowded in August with a flurry of additional cast members added to the project. Mad Men actor Jon Hamm and four-time Academy Award nominee Ed Harris (Westworld) were among the most high-profile additions to the cast, joining the film in unidentified roles.
Also added to the cast that month was Lewis Pullman (the son of actor Bill Pullman), as well as Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit) as the daughter of Connelly’s character; Charles Parnell (A Million Little Pieces) as an admiral; Bashir Salahuddin (GLOW) as an engineer; and the trio of Jay Ellis (Insecure), Danny Ramirez (Assassination Nation), and Monica Barbaro (The Good Cop) as pilots.
There’s no word on which, if any, additional cast members from the 1986 film are planning to return for the sequel.
Paramount Pictures isn’t revealing too many details about the sequel’s plot, but the story is rumored to explore the relationship between human pilots and unmanned drones in the modern military. Given the film’s working title, Top Gun: Maverick, it’s expected that Cruise’s pilot character will be at the center of the story — likely fighting to affirm the value of human pilots.
The film will reunite Cruise with Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski, who also directed 2010’s TRON: Legacy. Paramount Pictures confirmed Kosinski as the film’s director in a July 2017 announcement that also revealed the film’s July 2019 release date. Perhaps just as notably, the original film’s producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, is also behind the scenes for the sequel.
Kenny Loggins is planning to record a new version of his song Danger Zone for the Top Gun sequel. The original film featured a memorable montage of flight clips set to Danger Zone, and Loggins indicated that he’s hoping to team up with a young rock musician or band to give the song new life in Top Gun: Maverick.
On May 31, Cruise posted a photo on Twitter from the first day of production on the Top Gun sequel. The photo features Cruise back in Maverick’s flight suit, with the superimposed tagline “Feel the Need” giving nostalgic fans exactly what they’re looking for.
Updated on August 30: Added the film’s new release date in 2020.