The script for a long-in-the-works Top Gun sequel will find Tom Cruise's Maverick character hunting down drones, according to comments Skydance Productions CEO David Ellison made while doing press in Berlin for the latest Terminator (via Collider).
"It is very much a world we live in today where it's drone technology, and fifth-generation fighters are really what the United States Navy is calling the last man-made fighter that we're actually going to produce, so it's really [about] exploring the 'end of an era' of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today," he said. The plot will take place in the present day to account for the decades between the sequel and 1986 original.
Screenwriter Justin Marks (Street Fighter II: The Legend of Chun-Li) is currently working on the movie's script and has so far wowed Ellison with his take. The studio exec also confirmed that Cruise will reprise the role of Maverick in the film, though he seemed unsure of when production would go into motion. "We are very, very hopeful that we get to make the movie very soon," he said. "But like all things, it all comes down to the script, and Justin is writing as we speak."
But even though he's waiting, Ellison is making big plans for the feature, saying he wants to release it in IMAX and 3-D. He also intends to put less of an emphasis on digital effects. "As everyone knows with Tom, he is 100 percent going to want to be in those airplanes, shooting it practically," the exec said.
Rumors about the sequel began swirling five years ago, with original filmmaker Tony Scott attached to direct at the time, according to The Guardian. But after the director's apparent suicide in 2012, a new director has yet to be announced.
When Scott began developing the movie, he, too, planned on focusing it around drones, though without the focus being put on Cruise. "It's a whole different world now," the late director told Hitfix (via The Guardian). "These computer geeks – these kids play war games in a trailer in Fallon, Nevada and if we ever went to war or were in the Middle East or the Far East or wherever it is, these guys can actually fly drones."