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Tom Cruise Almost Didn’t Star In Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise Almost Didn’t Star In Top Gun: Maverick

Would Top Gun even be Top Gun without Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell?

There’s no denying that Top Gun wouldn’t be Top Gun without Tom Cruise – but even so, the Hollywood heavyweight nearly didn’t star in the long-awaited sequel. 

Top Gun: Maverick dropped in UK cinemas last week to favourable reviews, not to mention an impressive opening weekend at the box office

Fans were delighted to see Cruise reprise his role as US navy pilot Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in the follow-up to the 1986 hit

However, according to director Joseph Kosinski, it was touch-and-go as to whether he could convince the 59-year-old actor to join the project. 

In a new interview with Polygon, he revealed that he had just 30 minutes to pitch the idea to Cruise, who surprisingly wasn’t all that into the idea of a Top Gun sequel. 

Kosinski first joined the project after producer Jerry Bruckheimer sent him an early version of the script back in 2017. 

He told the outlet: “So I read the script, I had some ideas, and Jerry liked those ideas. He said, ‘You know what, you gotta go pitch this to Tom directly’.

“So we flew to Paris, where Tom was shooting Mission: Impossible, we got about a half hour of his time between setups. 

Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise in the 1986 original.
Paramount Pictures

“And I basically had 30 minutes to pitch this film, which I didn’t realise when we were flying over. But when I got there, I found that Tom really didn’t want to make another Top Gun.”

The filmmaker continued: “It’s one of those moments as a director, you have one on every film, where you’re on the spot to make a case for why this movie should be made. 

“I had 30 minutes to do it. And at the end of the pitch, he picked up the phone, he called the head of Paramount Pictures and said, ‘We’re making another Top Gun’. 

“It’s pretty impressive to see the power of a real movie star in that moment.”

Impressive but also a smart move from Cruise – as well as receiving high praise from fans and critics alike, Top Gun: Maverick earned the movie megastar the biggest box office opening of his career.

Cruise and Jennifer Connelly in Top Gun: Maverick.
Paramount Pictures

ComicBook reported the sequel to the 1986 movie earned $124 million (£98m) in the US and a take of $248 million (£196m) at the worldwide box office over the weekend. 

Before this, Cruise’s biggest box office hit was 2005's War of the Worlds, which opened at $64 million (£50 million), meaning he broke his own personal record by far. 

Safe to say he made the right decision by choosing to go ahead with the film. 

Top Gun: Maverick is in cinemas now.

Featured Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Topics: Tom Cruise, Top Gun, TV and Film