It has been almost four decades since the release of Top Gun, but the wait for the sequel is finally coming to an end.
Top Gun: Maverick will finally air this month, with Tom Cruise back in one of his most iconic roles as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell.
Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming film:
When will Top Gun: Maverick be released?
Top Gun: Maverick is currently scheduled to be released in UK cinemas on May 25, 2022 and in US cinemas on May 27, 2022, 36 years after the release of its predecessor.
According to Variety, the initial delay in releasing the sequel was due to Paramount Pictures wanting additional time to present flight sequences with new planes and technology.
Top Gun: Maverick was then scheduled to be released on July 12 2019, but due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the entertainment industry, it was further delayed several times before landing on its final release date.
The highly anticipated movie will hit cinemas just under a month after its premiere at CinemaCon on April 28, and it will also play out of competition at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival on May 18.
It is then expected to become available to stream on Paramount Plus roughly three months after the theatrical release, although an exact date for this has not been confirmed.
Who are the cast of Top Gun: Maverick?
The second Top Gun movie will star some returning actors, as well as a many new ones.
Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer reprise their roles as Maverick and Iceman from the 1986 movie, with their developing relationship being one element of the new film.
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer previously revealed that Tom Cruise was adamant that Val Kilmer would return to the fold, saying: “We all wanted him, but Tom was really adamant that if he’s going to make another Top Gun, Val had to be in it.”
Director Joseph Kosinski told Entertainment Weekly: “The rivalry and relationship between Iceman and Maverick is one of those things that makes that first film so iconic.”
“It’s a relationship that is important to the Top Gun franchise and as a fan I would want to see how it’s evolved.”
However, one original star who will not return in the sequel is Kelly McGillis, who has confirmed she will not reprise her role as Maverick’s love interest, Charlie.
Instead, Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly will be playing Maverick’s new love interest, Penny Benjamin.
The film will also introduce Miles Teller to the franchise, who will take on the role of Goose’s son and Maverick’s new protégé, Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw.
Other cast members include Jon Hamm as Vice Admiral Cyclone, Glen Powell as “Hangman”, and Jay Ellis as Lieutenant Reuben “Payback” Fitch.
What is the plot for Top Gun: Maverick?
The original ‘80s classic follows US Naval Aviator Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, a talented pilot with little regard for the rules and a close friendship with co-pilot Nick ‘Goose’ Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards).
Maverick is recruited to an elite fighter school, where he clashes with fellow student Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky (Val Kilmer) in the race to win the coveted Top Gun trophy, and falls for the beautiful instructor, Charlie (Kelly McGillis), as well.
However, in the sequel, Maverick is a test pilot who has purposely dodged an advancement in rank after thirty years of service.
He is one day called to train a group of Top Gun graduates for a specialised mission under the orders of his fellow naval aviator friend and former rival, Admiral Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky, who is the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Among the trainees is Lieutenant Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s late best friend Goose.
The movie features Tom Cruise truly in the pilot seat, flying the fighter jets for real and performing all the stunts himself without the aid of CGI.
He later told the SDCC audience: “Everything you see in this film is for real. We’re working with the Navy, all of the flying you see in this picture is real, I really wanted to give you all an experience of what it is to be inside that aircraft.
“It’s a love letter to aviation.”
It’s not the first time Cruise has taken to the skies to perform his own stunts – he learned to fly a helicopter for 2018’s Mission Impossible: Fallout.
How long is Top Gun: Maverick?
The film will run for two hours and 11 minutes.