Back in 2015, Val Kilmer took to Facebook saying that he “just got offered #topgun2 – not often you get to say ‘yes’ without reading the script.” After an enthusiastic response, however, the actor then added a cautionary note to his announcement that he may have “jumped the topgun” and that “being offered a role is very different from doing a role.” Almost three years later, though, it’s now been confirmed that Top Gun: Maverick will indeed have its Iceman.
LT Tom “Iceman” Kazansky was the main rival of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell at the Top Gun’s titular fighter pilot academy. Though the two of them ended the 1986 movie on good terms, it’s possible that old tensions could resurface in the follow-up, seeing how star Tom Cruise has described the upcoming actioner as “a competition film, like the first one.”
This may seem like a strange time to finally deliver a sequel to the 32-year-old box office smash, but late director Tony Scott, who was offered the project prior to his death in 2012, saw the new world of the 2010s as an opportunity to try something different from his previous hit. Early reports had the sequel dramatizing the end of the dogfight era as drones begin to play a larger role in military strategy.
Joseph Kosinski, who directed Cruise in the 2013 sci-fi Oblivion, has since taken over the project with a script from Eric Singer (American Hustle), Justin Marks (The Jungle Book), and Peter Craig (both parts of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay). But if you’re looking for some more returning names from the first film, Harold Faltermeyer is composing the score and will hopefully be bringing a large helping of nostalgia.
The first Top Gun was the highest-grossing film of 1986, but will audiences still flock to theaters for more of this world and these characters? We’ll find out when Top Gun: Maverick flies into cinemas on July 12th, 2019.