It’s been a little quiet on the “Top Gun 2” front since the project was announced a couple of years ago, and that’s almost expected – what with the untimely and tragic death of director Tony Scott, who was set to retain his position on the follow-up to the 1986 hit. And though both star Tom Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have since said it’s a project that’s still on the cards, I think most of us just assumed it’d end up one of those exciting ideas that’ll never come to fruition.
“Terminator : Genisys” producers Skydance Productions CEO David Ellison and CCO Dana Goldberg, who have long been attached to produce and bankroll the film, tell Collider that “Top Gun 2” – as well as a sequel to Cruise’s “Jack Reacher” – are still very much happening.
For Ellison, who is an avid aviator (and had an acting role in the forgettable “Flyboys” a few years ago), the project is one he seems determined to both get right and get done.
I started flying aerobatics when I was thirteen years old, actually me and my dad took my first lesson on my thirteenth birthday. By the time I was seventeen, I was flying air shows and have thousands of hours flying surface level aerobatics. I absolutely love it. I’ve got three hundred skydives, used to sky surf until that put me in the hospital really badly so I thought maybe let’s not do that anymore, but love aviation, and Top Gun definitely fits into the seminal movie of my childhood, and as a pilot, that is really the movie. Justin Marks is writing the screenplay right now. He has a phenomenal take to really update that world for what fighter pilots in the Navy has turned into today. There is an amazing role for Maverick in the movie and there is no Top Gun without Maverick, and it is going to be Maverick playing Maverick. It is I don’t think what people are going to expect, and we are very, very hopeful that we get to make the movie very soon. But like all things, it all comes down to the script, and Justin is writing as we speak.
Even more exciting, the prospect of the sequel unspooling in 3D and IMAX.
Absolutely, I think this is a movie that should be in 3-D and in IMAX, and again something that you can shoot practically. As everyone knows with Tom, he is 100% going to want to be in those airplanes shooting it practically. When you look at the world of dogfighting, what’s interesting about it is that it’s not a world that exists to the same degree when the original movie came out. This world has not been explored. 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 exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today are all fun things that we’re gonna get to dive into in this movie.
In terms of “Jack Reacher 2”, which Ed Zwick (“The Last Samurai”) is attached to direct, Goldberg says filming could begin as early as this Fall.
Right now Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz are doing a rewrite of the original draft that was written by Richard Wenk. Again, going back to where we started this interview, it all comes down to the script. Our hope, Tom’s hope, Paramount’s hope is that we are shooting mid-October the sequel to Jack Reacher, but we haven’t read Ed and Marshall’s draft yet. All of the dominoes fall once that happens because if we like that draft and Tom likes that draft, we’re gonna be shooting in October.