Top Gun: Maverick: Everything we know about the movie so far

Rick Marshall

Get ready to feel the need for speed all over again. After years of rumors, Top Gun: Maverick is officially flying into theaters more than three decades after the 1986 film premiered. Original star Tom Cruise is returning for the sequel, and he won’t be the only familiar face in the film.

The latest update reveals when the first footage was shown, as well as when the next opportunity to get a sneak peek will likely be. With Maverick currently scheduled to hit theaters in June 2020, here’s everything we know about the Top Gun sequel so far.

  • Title: Top Gun: Maverick
  • Release date: June 26, 2020
  • Cast: Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm
  • Director: Joseph Kosinski

The first footage

Audiences at the CineEurope 2019 trade show were treated to the first footage from Top Gun: Maverick in mid-June, with two minutes of scenes from the film shown to attendees.

The footage was introduced by Mark Viane, Paramount Pictures’ president of International Theatrical Distribution, and Mary Daily, co-president of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, who stepped out on stage in full flight gear after the floor of the theater filled with mist. No decsription of the footage was released, but it reportedly received a positive response.

With Paramount expected to bring Maverick to its panel at San Diego’s Comic-Con International in July, that will likely be the next opportunity to see footage from the film.

Filming

In a May 2019 interview with Collider, actor Jon Hamm had nothing but praise for the high-tech filmmaking techniques intended to give Maverick audiences an in-the-cockpit experience.

“They’re using some technology on this that has never before seen,” said Hamm. “We’re shooting the movie in, I think, 6K. So it’s incredibly hi-def. The aerial footage is mind-blowing. And it’s mostly practical. There’s not a lot of CG. Those guys are really up in planes and getting thrown around in multiple Gs.”

Tom Cruise Top Gun 2 Feel the Need

On May 31, 2018, Cruise posted a photo on Twitter from the first day of production on the Top Gun sequel. The photo features Cruise back in Maverick’s flight suit, with the superimposed tagline “Feel the Need” giving nostalgic fans exactly what they’re looking for.

The cast

 Tom-Cruise-Maverick-Val-Kilmer-Iceman

The film brings back original Top Gun star Tom Cruise as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, the hotshot pilot character that helped make Cruise a superstar. He’ll be joined by Val Kilmer, reprising his role as Maverick’s rival, Tom “Iceman” Kazansky.

As for the actor filling one of the film’s primary legacy roles, Whiplash actor Miles Teller will portray the son of Maverick’s former wingman, Goose, who was played by Anthony Edwards in the first film. Teller was seen on set with Cruise in some December 2018 photos that reveal the mustache he’ll be sporting for the film —  Teller’s look clearly inspired by Edwards’ impressively ’80s facial hair.

Teller and Hidden Figures actor Glen Powell were the final two contenders for the role. Despite Teller winning the part, Powell’s audition reportedly impressed the Top Gun producers enough to earn him a different, unidentified role in the film.

In July 2018, A Beautiful Mind actress Jennifer Connelly (below) was reported to be in talks to play the female lead in the film. The Academy Award winner is expected to play a single mother who runs a local bar near the naval base where the story is set.

top gun maverick release date cast story soundtrack news jennifer connelly

The danger zone got a little more crowded in August with a flurry of additional cast members added to the project. Mad Men actor Jon Hamm and four-time Academy Award nominee Ed Harris (Westworld) were among the most high-profile additions to the cast, joining the film in unidentified roles.

Also added to the cast that month was Lewis Pullman (the son of actor Bill Pullman),  as well as Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit) as the daughter of Connelly’s character; Charles Parnell (A Million Little Pieces) as an admiral; Bashir Salahuddin (GLOW) as an engineer; and the trio of Jay Ellis (Insecure), Danny Ramirez (Assassination Nation), and Monica Barbaro (The Good Cop) as pilots.

Release date

Originally scheduled to hit theaters in July 2019, Top Gun: Maverick had its premiere pushed back almost a year by Paramount Pictures. The studio announced that the film’s new release date will be June 26, 2020.

The story

Tom Cruise

Paramount Pictures isn’t revealing too many details about the sequel’s plot, but the story is rumored to explore the relationship between human pilots and unmanned drones in the modern military. Given the film’s working title, Top Gun: Maverick, it’s expected that Cruise’s pilot character will be at the center of the story — likely fighting to affirm the value of human pilots.

The director

Joseph-Kosinski

The film will reunite Cruise with Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski, who also directed 2010’s TRON: Legacy. Paramount Pictures confirmed Kosinski as the film’s director in a July 2017 announcement that also revealed the film’s initial July 2019 release date. Perhaps just as notably, the original film’s producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, is also behind the scenes for the sequel.

The music

Kenny Loggins is planning to record a new version of his song Danger Zone for the Top Gun sequel. The original film featured a memorable montage of flight clips set to Danger Zone, and Loggins indicated that he’s hoping to team up with a young rock musician or band to give the song new life in Top Gun: Maverick.

Updated on June 20, 2019: Added news regarding the first footage from the film.