Coming out 36 years after the original movie, the sequel sees Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell return to his roots at Top Gun, to impart his knowledge and skills on a cohort of budding young pilots.
The film first started being developed 12 years ago, leading to the finished product that’s been blowing critics and audiences away across the globe.
While speaking to Metro.co.uk at the UK premiere in London’s Leicester Square – which was attended by Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – producer David Ellison was asked what the greatest obstacle was when making Top Gun: Maverick a reality.
‘The biggest thing was really getting the script right. That from moment one was, Tom was like, “We’re not going to make a sequel to Top Gun until the story is there, until the script was there,”’ he said.
The longtime collaborator of Tom’s added: ‘The mantra he used throughout the entire development process was: “We’re not trying to hit a bullseye. We’re trying to hit a bullet with a bullet. And that’s how small the target is, and that we’re not going to stop pushing until we get there.”
‘To see audiences embracing the movie, when it comes out next weekend I hope they feel that way.’
Tom’s handy metaphor gave them motivation (Picture: Paramount Pictures)
People who go to see Top Gun: Maverick might be astonished to learn that the cast actually flew planes in scenes, after being trained by experienced pilot Tom.
‘It’s absolutely amazing what our cast did. Tom designed a three-month training programme to really get them ready to get them into the F-18 and the performances they deliver in this movie are absolutely fantastic,’ David said.
‘What they did in the air is amazing, and I just have so much admiration and respect and just feel privileged to have worked with every single one of them.’
The actors playing the younger pilots actually had to learn how to fly planes (Picture: Paramount Pictures/AP)
One of the most powerful moments in the film came when Maverick came face to face with Iceman (Val Kilmer) once again, his former rival-turned-close friend.
Speaking about that emotional moment, Tom told Metro.co.uk: ‘It was lovely. The whole experience, you know, 36 years to make this film. There were so many moments in making it that were very special, incredibly unique.
‘He’s an actor that I greatly admire, so it was wonderful.’
David found it similarly moving, saying it was his favourite scene in the movie.
‘The first movie made me want to become a pilot. This was the first movie when we originally started working with Paramount 12 years ago we said we wanted to make,’ he said.
‘So to see the two of them on set, the emotion that people hopefully get from that scene, was how it felt to be on set. It was a surreal experience.’
Producer David has previously worked on Mission: Impossible and Jack Reacher (Picture: Metro.co.uk)
Maverick and Iceman now have a strong bond (Picture: Rex/Paramount Pictures)
Summing up how he hopes cinema-goers will respond to Top Gun: Maverick, the producer expressed his hope that the blockbuster is regarded as ‘a love letter to aviation’.
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‘I hope it is an aspirational experience, and I hope they have a great time at the movies,’ he said.
‘We designed this movie to be inspirational and entertaining and I really hope they take that away from it.’
Top Gun: Maverick is in cinemas now.
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