‘Top Gun: Maverick’ writer wanted the sequel to stand on its own

Image via Paramount Pictures

After 36 years, Top Gun is getting a sequel, which screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie says could work as a standalone movie. He told Mulderville that, while the staff of Top Gun: Maverick began to base the film around the original, they switched gears to let it fly its own path:

“We found ourselves time and again leaning towards recreating moments of the film . . . as opposed to creating new ground and we found time and again that the more we let go of the original movie and went in our own direction, the film became much more true. And that there really was the possibility to make something that stood alone. It was very important to Tom [Cruise] and I when we would talk about Top Gun that you didn’t have to see the original movie in order to enjoy this one.”

Moreover, McQuarrie “wasn’t interested in trying to recreate or recapture any of the magic of the original film, so much of which had to do with the time in which it was released, the music that was popular in the day, the technology that was there, and who Tom Cruise was as an actor and a star as compared to who he is now.”

He also revealed his proudest aspect of the film:

“It truly is the kind of movie they don’t make anymore, not just in its scope and its scale, but in its emotion, in its characters, in its storytelling. It’s very much a modern film, but it’s also very much steeped in classic storytelling that I just don’t see anymore.”

Top Gun: Maverick concerns the titular fighter pilot who is recruited by his former rival Iceman to train a fresh crop of Top Guns. It features Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in their original roles as Maverick and Iceman, respectively, plus newcomers to the franchise Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, and Ed Harris.

The long-awaited sequel is set to hit theaters on May 27.