It’s easy to look back and think that Top Gun is some silly, cheesy byproduct of 80s jingoism. And yeah, there’s a lot of that in there. But I’d also make the case that Top Gun is not only the quintessential film of the 80s (either Gun or Die Hard), but one of the greatest action films ever made. I even had Tony Scott’s epic story about heroes, shortcomings, fathers, and brotherhood on my list of the 100 Greatest Films for a period of time, before it was surpassed shortly before the creation of my site. A sequel has been in the works for decades, with fans desperate to see more of Tom Cruise’s Maverick in action, but scripting issues and Scott’s tragic 2012 suicide halted things before they got off the ground. However, as nostalgia often does, Top Gun: Maverick is officially in the air, flipping off MiGs and buzzing the tower in a thundering first trailer out of Comic Con.
It’s been over three decades since Maverick (Cruise) got his groove back, stepped out of the shadow created by the death of his father and his best friend. In the present, living pilots are slowly going out of fashion, and Maverick has only been promoted to “Captain,” due to his reckless behavior and penchant for writing checks his body can’t cash. However, while instructing at the famous Top Gun program, he finds a protégé in Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller) the son of a pilot once known as Goose. Maverick sets out to guide Brad on a journey to becoming the next Top Gun, and to be the father figure his recklessness once stole from the boy.
Honestly, this is a film that can go either way. Sequels this many years late can often be a downer, and Cruise is truly the only person still involved with the project from the original (outside of a certain icy costar). But at the very least, Cruise is doing everything in his power to make sure this film goes off without a hitch. He brought along his Mission: Impossible scribe Christopher McQuarrie to help fine tune the script. He hired Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski to make the film as visually stunning as possible. And he assembled a Murderers’ Row of talented actors to bring the film to life, including Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Glen Powell (who, I’m sorry, should have gotten the role of Brad), Jon Hamm, Manny Jacinto, and Jean Louisa Kelly. Oh, and a certain up-and-comer by the name of Val Kilmer. I hope he’ll fit into this universe well. No word yet on returns from Kelly McGillis or Meg Ryan, which means they’ll either be in small cameos or the film will have to overcome missing tow of its greatest stars. And to top it all off…this is a pretty damn good trailer. It gives nothing away while remaining entertaining, and establishing the Maverick of today in a way that both makes sense and feels inspired. Yeah, I’ll be honest – I’m pretty excited for this movie. The film comes out June 26th, 2020, and you can watch the teaser trailer below.