Fans have been waiting a long time to find out what’s been going on with Captain Pete Mitchell, aka Maverick, between 1986 ⏤ when Top Gun first hit movie theaters ⏤ and now. The sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, has been in development since 2010, but it hasn’t exactly felt the “need for high speed” to reach theaters.
Maverick was expected to debut all the way back in the pre-pandemic summer of 2019. After multiple setbacks and rescheduling difficulties, the firm release date has been set: May 27, 2022 following its premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival on May 18.
Maverick features the return of Tom Cruise as the titular Naval air ace, who is called in to train a new class of the service’s best crack aviators for a specialized secret mission. Not only is Maverick reluctant to take on the authority of a teacher, but the class also happens to include Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of his late radar intercept officer Nick “Goose” Bradshaw.
The film spent several years in development hell while producer Jerry Bruckheimer and others struggled to figure out what a new Top Gun would look like in the post-dogfighting, drone-centric air combat of the 21st century. For a while, it was even rumored that Cruise would take a smaller background role in the sequel. He’s obviously the face of the first film, a role that was defined by him and that launched him into superstardom. The title Top Gun: Maverick was announced in June 2017, indicating that the producers had pivoted to the idea of Cruise reprising his starring role.
Top Gun: Maverick was originally slated for release on July 12, 2019; however, that date was bumped back to June 26, 2020, to allow the production team to tackle the film’s many complex flight sequences. Another bump occurred in March of 2020 with the release being moved out to Dec. 23 of that year due to COVID-19 concerns. The film was delayed yet again due to scheduling conflicts with Cruise and further COVID precautions. The newest release dates ⏤ the May 18 premiere at Cannes and wide theatrical release on May 27 ⏤ seem to be destined to finally happen.
Although nothing official has been announced in regards to when and where the film will be available on streaming, it will presumably be released on producer Paramount Pictures’ in-house service, Paramount Plus. Major streaming services Netflix and Paramount have both tried to acquire streaming rights to the film, but Paramount has refused them.
Top Gun: Maverick will hit American theaters on May 27.