A new featurette for Top Gun: Maverick shows off the intense, mandatory training that helped the cast prepare to play fighter pilots.
The sequel takes place some thirty years after the events of 1986’s Top Gun, which sees Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer reprise their iconic roles.
“I wasn’t ready to make a sequel until we had a special story worthy of a sequel,” Cruise explains in the featurette. “And until technology evolved so we could delve deeper into the experience of a fighter pilot.”
The aviation sequences within the movie are real, and the actors underwent a three-month-long mandatory training course to prepare for them. This involved working with the Navy, a “challenging underwater program,” and a Cruise-designed aviation training course – that Miles Teller referred to as “Tom Cruise boot camp.” Cruise even taught them how to operate cameras that were mounted inside each F-18 jet, as the actors essentially had to direct themselves.
“I developed a whole program for the actors, and how we could get them in the [F/A-18s],” told Total Film. “It was every step of the way. I had to teach them how to fly. I had to teach them how to handle Gs. I had to get them confident in the aeroplane.”
Top Gun 2 will make its world premiere at CinemaCon on April 28, followed by a US release on May 27. For more, check out the latest issue of Total Film (opens in new tab), which features Top Gun: Maverick on the cover, for exclusive interviews with Cruise, director Joseph Kosinski, and the rest of the cast.