‘Top Gun: Maverick’ director explains why he wanted to recreate the iconic volleyball scene

Image via Paramount Pictures

Few movie scenes are as memorable — for better or worse — as Top Gun‘s shirtless beach volleyball match, so Joseph Kosinski felt compelled to recreate it for the sequel.

Although he changed the sport to football, the Top Gun: Maverick director stayed true to the skin-famous scene while making it a little less random. In an interview with Screen Rant, Kosinski mentioned the inevitability of including a similar sports montage in the new film, but finding a “clever way of integrating” it.

“That was one of those scenes that, when people heard I was starting to prep this movie, everyone was asking me about the beach scene. I knew that was something we couldn’t avoid. The trick was how we work it into the story. I didn’t want to just do the scene for the sake of doing it. Our screenwriting team came up with a really clever way of integrating that sequence into the story of our film. And then, when it came to that day, we had fun. I mean, it was shooting the beach scene for Top Gun.”

The original beach scene basically comes out of nowhere to assail viewers with the sweaty abs of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer while so-’80s-it-hurts “Playing With The Boys” plays in the background, whereas the new one “has a very specific point,” as Kosinski revealed at CinemaCon. However, the sweaty abs of famous actors, notably Miles Teller, are retained.

Check out a new generation of fighter pilots-turned-shirtless-pickup-athletes when Top Gun: Maverick hits theaters worldwide.