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David Cronenberg turned down ‘Top Gun’, which would have been a very different movie

It would have been less cheesy and a lot weirder, that much is for sure.


With Joseph Kosinski’s sequel preparing to take the highway to the danger zone next weekend, Tony Scott’s Top Gun has been the subject of countless retrospectives and celebrations over the last couple of weeks, which just so happens to coincide with the dogfighting classic’s 36th anniversary.

As a result, star Tom Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer are among the many to have reflected on the legacy of the box office smash hit that turned its leading man into an A-list superstar, and now David Cronenberg has gotten in on the act for a very different reason.

Given his cinematic proclivities, it’s hard to imagine the body horror aficionado taking the reins on a studio-backed production designed to generate the maximum amount of box office dollars, but the filmmaker revealed to Variety that he turned down the of 1980s favorite.

“Top Gun was about American military stuff. It’s true that I like machines, I like cars, I like airplanes. But it just wasn’t something I was interested in to direct. Directing takes at least two years of your life. If you watch it, it takes two hours. So that’s the difference.”

It would be fair to say that Top Gun would have been an entirely different proposition were Cronenberg behind the camera, and it may have even significantly altered the trajectory of the industry. When you think about it, the airborne extravaganza marked a huge turning point for Cruise, Bruckheimer, and Scott’s respective careers, none of which would have happened were the brains behind The Fly wielding the megaphone.

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Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.