The long-awaited sequel to the Tom Cruise classic Top Gun has finally landed an official release date: July 19th, 2019.
After seven years of rumors and delays, Paramount announced that Top Gun: Maverick is in the works with Joseph Kosinski – who helmed Cruise-starring sci-fi flick Oblivion – the frontrunner to direct, The Hollywood Reporter writes, with Cruise on board to reprise the role of pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.
Cruise’s reckless naval pilot will play a flight instructor in the upcoming sequel. “Aviators are back, the need for speed. We’re going to have big, fast machines. It’s going to be a competition film, like the first one … but a progression for Maverick,” the actor said earlier this month.
Rumors of a Top Gun sequel began circulating in 2010, but the death of the original film’s director Tony Scott in 2012 delayed the project. However, while promoting The Mummy earlier this year, Cruise promised that the film was “definitely happening.”
In 2015, Skydance Productions CEO David Ellison detailed the sequel’s plot. “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,” Ellison said.
A few months later, Val Kilmer said that he too would reprise his role in Maverick, but the actor soon backtracked from that statement.
However, when Top Gun: Maverick inched toward reality in May, Kilmer lobbied for a return of “Iceman” on Twitter:
— Val Kilmer (@valkilmer) May 24, 2017