Tom Cruise was in full “Tom Cruise” mode Wednesday, laughing up a storm with the hosts of an Australian morning show. But on this day, Cruise’s maniacal enthusiasm was warranted. Cruise confirmed a Top Gun sequel, with two simple words: “It’s true.”
When pressed by the incredulous Aussie hosts, Cruise did his best to convince them that this wasn’t some eighties-inspired fever dream. “It is definitely happening,” he said. Cruise added that he’s going to start shooting the film within the next year, which means Top Gun 2 should arrive in theaters by the summer of 2019.
If you have mixed feelings about the news we won’t hold it against you. The original film—about a cocky Navy pilot’s exploits in the sky—feels like a perfect eighties time capsule. Tom Cruise was Hollywood’s shiny new toy, and this was the movie that turned him into a larger-than-life movie star.
It also turned Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” into an overnight sensation. To this day, the sappy love ballad is a staple at high school dances and weddings across the country, and is probably responsible for more than a few accidental pregnancies.
Top Gun also benefited from playing almost as well with critics as it did with audiences, earning multiple Oscar nods and one win for the aforementioned baby-making ballad. A large part of that success had to do with director Tony Scott and the masterful way he shot those breathtaking aerial sequences. Unfortunately, Scott is no longer with us, so it will be up to some hired gun to recreate those kinetic thrills without leaning too heavily on the powers of CGI.
Another problem that could potentially arise is with Cruise himself. Though still a box office draw, his charisma isn’t quite as blinding as it used to be. And don’t get us started on Val Kilmer, who played Maverick’s bitter rival Iceman in the original and is on board for the sequel. We’re not sure if you’ve seen Kilmer lately but it’s fair to say he’s not quite the physical specimen he was 30 years ago.
So how will they recapture the youthful exuberance of the original? One option that might work is if they use the Creed model. Cruise has actually done almost exactly this before, when he played Paul Newman’s protege in The Hustler follow-up The Color of Money. In our vision, Cruise plays the mentor to a brash young pilot. Iceman has gone rogue after being betrayed by his country and has launched a black ops organization of mercenary pilots for hire. Cruise and his pupil must team up to take them out and save the world.
Now that’s a film we’d pay to see.