Top Gun 2 has been a perennial rumor for years, but now it looks as if production has kicked into gear, with TRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski apparently the top choice to helm the movie. No one’s signed on the dotted line yet, but insiders believe Skydance and Paramount are set to make an offer to Kosinski in the very near future, following his by all accounts impressive pitch to the studio.
The sequel will reportedly tackle the technological clash between fighter pilots and drones, with the new technologies on the verge of rendering the human pilot obsolete. Naturally, this is bad for Maverick and the cast of returning characters, who live for the thrill of soaring through the skies and engaging in thrilling dogfights. Given that Cruise is now 51, it’s rumored that Maverick has become a mentor to a younger generation of pilots, though I think it’s a safe bet that we’ll see him climbing into the cockpit throughout the film, possibly doing battle (and besting) the next generation of soulless AI pilots.
Thing is, Top Gun 2 has the minor problem that there’s very few countries that the USA can feasibly dogfight with these days. The obvious candidates would be China and Russia, though it’s doubtful that Paramount would want to jeopardize the Chinese or Russian movie markets by making them the baddies. My money is on some kind of rogue AI element that Cruise’s team can square off against without any particular ideological entanglement.
We’ll learn more as the project moves into full production. Kosinski looks a good match for the film, though it remains to be seen whether he can capture the same energy as the sadly departed Tony Scott. Either way, given Cruise’s hard as nails work ethic, we should probably expect to see Top Gun 2 sooner rather than later.