Top Gun feels the need, the need for a sequel 25 years after the fact
According to Vulture, Paramount is making serious progression on a sequel to Top Gun, the 1986 film that singlehandedly won the Cold War through its depiction of dramatic dogfights and homoerotic volleyball sequences. Screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie is reportedly working on updating the script, while the studio has also made offers to both producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott—and although Bruckheimer recently lamented the fact that a sequel seemed unlikely since “the aviation community has completely changed since we made the movie a long time ago’ (i.e., shifted its focus away from aerial warfare to dropping big-ass bombs), the studio suspects audiences may be willing to overlook a lack of verisimilitude in its Tony Scott-directed cocky fighter pilot action flick.
Especially if Tom Cruise were to return, which seems to be the plan: McQuarrie is said to be working on bringing Cruise’s “Maverick” character back in a smaller role, and Cruise has tentatively agreed, so long as it’s not an “obvious” part. So look for Cruise to play a Great Gazoo-like floating head who appears at random times to offer biting criticism to whatever hotshot young actor inherits the now-franchise, but definitely not a flight instructor, even though that’s where Maverick ended up in the first film.
Anyway, the question you may be asking is: Will Anthony Edwards return? And the answer is no, his character died. Watch the movie! But another, more pertinent question would be, why make a sequel now, other than the fact that Hollywood’s past is doomed to repeat itself so long as it’s scared to risk anything on new ideas? That’s an excellent question, and the answer is: Money—not only the money to be made from those inevitable exciting 3D aerial warfare sequences, but the money that’s already being offered by David Ellison, the 27-year-old son of Oracle Corp.’s Larry Ellison (the sixth-richest man in the world), whose lifelong obsession with Top Gun led him to become an aerobatic pilot before getting into the film business. Ellison combined his two passions in his first film, the 2006 WWI drama Flyboys, even giving himself a small role as a pilot. More recently, Ellison gave Paramount $350 million to finance a bunch of its films, including the upcoming Mission: Impossible IV. For $350 million, you can pretty much ride anybody’s tail anytime; you could even engage in a vanity project like a 25-years-after-the-fact sequel to your favorite movie. Guess we’re just lucky Larry Ellison didn’t grow up loving Young Guns, otherwise they’d be forcing poor Emilio Estevez back onto a horse right about now.