Skip to main content

It’s been 36 years since Tom Cruise played Maverick in the first Top Gun. He is returning for Top Gun: Maverick after the sequel has been in the works for a long time. According to Cruise, Paramount wanted a sequel to this 1986 classic a lot sooner, even before Top Gun came out. 

Tom Cruise is returning as Maverick in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Tom Cruise, who has a $600 million net worth, gives a thumbs up on the set of 'Top Gun'
Tom Cruise gives a thumbs up in ‘Top Gun’ | Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images

The original Top Gun centered around Cruise who played Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a Navy pilot who attend the TOPGUN flight school. Maverick is a hotshot pilot whose cocky attitude often gets him in trouble and puts him at odds with other pilots including Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer). The sequel brings him back to TOPGUN to train a new crop of students while also dealing with issues from his past. 

Despite not being a massive hit with critics, Top Gun was a hit at the box office, grossing over $357,469,522 at the worldwide box office, according to It has become a movie that is beloved by multiple generations. Paramount has wanted to make a sequel for a while, but Cruise has been skeptical until he recently changed his mind. 

Paramount wanted to make a sequel to ‘Top Gun’ before the movie opened

A lot of studios have moved forward with legacy sequels that bring back characters from older movies and mix them in with a new cast. In a recent interview with The Project, Cruise was asked if there were ever talks about making a sequel before now like in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Cruise told the reporter that Paramount wanted to make a sequel a lot sooner than that. 

“Before it opened, the studio wanted to do a sequel,” Cruise said. “Paramount was after me for about a year to make the film before I committed to it. And I just wasn’t ready to do it. As a young actor and I’m developing and I was educating myself in cinema and stories, something that I watched in movies my whole life. As time went on, every year I would release a movie, people would be like ‘What about Top Gun? Make another Top Gun.’”

Cruise went on to say that there were now multiple generations that wanted a sequel to Top Gun. The actor wasn’t sure of what to do, but he did have one condition of what needed to happen for him to make the film. 

“There were things that I wanted to accomplish with the first one. I wanted it to be more immersive for an audience,” Cruise explained. “Part of my deal and when I signed on to make the movie is I have to fly in an F-14 and you gotta film me in an F-14.”

Cruise continues to push the envelope of actors doing their own stunts


‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Director Explains Why Two Original Cast Members Are Not Returning

Cruise’s comments about flying in an F-14 align with a lot of what the actor has been doing in recent movies. Even at 59, he continues to perform many of his own stunts which include hanging off of the side of a plane or running across rooftops in the Mission: Impossible movies. His dedication is impressive and it does lead to a more immersive experience for the audience. 

Top Gun: Maverick debuts in theaters on May 27.