Earlier this year, the epic sequel to the 1986 action/adventure film Top Gun broke multiple box office records and became the highest-grossing project of 2022. Besides the copious efforts of the filmmakers and the dangerously enticing action scenes in the film, Top Gun 2‘s unparalleled success is also, to a great extent, to be credited to its brilliant ensemble. After all, Tom Cruise’s marvelous stunts and talented acting played a major role in earning the film a number of accolades.
But did you know, it took a whole lot of convincing to get the award-winning actor finally aboard the blockbuster project? As a matter of fact, the Jack Reacher star had initially denied working on the sequel. Fortunately enough, the director wasn’t willing to back down either and finally got him to say yes to Top Gun 2. Thank God for Joseph Kosinski’s convincing power.
Tom Cruise Wasn’t Initially Willing to Do A Top Gun Sequel
After the first film, Paramount had approached Tom Cruise multiple times for a sequel, only for the latter to knock down the offer. Even when Joseph Kosinski, the director of Top Gun: Maverick, went to the Mission: Impossible star to pitch the idea, the latter didn’t budge. In his recent interview with Collider, Kosinski talked about the same as he revealed how exactly he was able to get Cruise to agree to do a Top Gun sequel.
When Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of the film, showed the script to Kosinski, the latter was quite captivated by certain ideas in it. But he believed that “the relationship between Maverick and Rooster” would be the “emotional hook” that would appeal to Cruise the most. So he worked on that aspect and a couple of more elements before flying to Paris to meet the actor who had been shooting a Mission: Impossible film at that time. To Kosinski’s utter dismay though, Cruise outright rejected the idea of a Top Gun 2.
“So, I made a poster by myself and a whole, I guess, presentation of imagery. And we went to Paris, and we got Tom for a half hour. And the first thing I pitched to him was the Rooster story. That this reconciliation between these two characters set against a mission that would take both of them across enemy lines where they’d have to come together and fight their way back as a team, just like he and Goose were.”
“That would be the story. And as soon as I said that, I could see the wheels in Tom’s head start to turn because he came into that room ready to say, ‘Thanks for coming, but I’m not doing another Top Gun sequel. Sorry guys.'”
But the Oblivion filmmaker had one last ace up his sleeve and ended up winning Cruise’s consent after all. And it also ended up working out in Cruise’s favor considering how the movie became the most successful project he has ever starred in.
This is How Joseph Kosinski Convinced Tom Cruise for Top Gun: Maverick
After Cruise said he wasn’t interested in doing the sequel, Kosinski, 48, still had one major idea to propose to the former, that of “the Darkstar sequence.”
“I loved the idea of finding Maverick as Chuck Yeager at the opening of this film, pushing the envelope of what’s possible in aviation, what’s possible for a pilot, and proving that he’s still Maverick. He’s still the same guy, but he’s just out on the outer edge.”
The Only the Brave director then went ahead to pitch this concept to Cruise as he discussed how they would film the whole thing, He also told the Edge of Tomorrow actor how they’d have to title the sequel as ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ instead of ‘Top Gun 2,’ and lo and behold he was finally able to convince him to get on board!
“And then finally, I said, “We can’t call it Top Gun 2. We have to call it Top Gun: Maverick.” And Tom looked at me, and he looked at Jerry. He pulled his phone out, and he called the head of Paramount and said, “We’re making a sequel to Top Gun,” basically agreeing with me.”
And that’s how we got the mega-hit of a movie this year.
Top Gun: Maverick is streaming on Paramount +.