Maverick and Goose fly again: Tom Cruise gives James Corden a mile-high early morning adventure

Tom Cruise Top Gun Maverick
Image via Paramount Pictures

It’s been just over 35 years since Pete “Maverick” Mitchell lost his best friend Nick “Goose” Bradshaw to an ejection mishap in the original Top Gun film. Now, with the release of Top Gun: Maverick just on the horizon, Tom Cruise thought it necessary to find a candidate to replace his character’s beloved comrade; enter James Corden.

The storied actor and pilot, in the most tongue-in-cheek gesture possible, summoned Corden to the Hollywood Burbank Airport at the ripe hour of 5am before flying him out to a desert for a surprise series of laps in a vintage fighter jet. Corden, with whom Cruise sparked up entertaining chemistry at a moment’s notice, protested the idea and even attempted to run away. But, ultimately, he found himself behind Cruise, despite further protests after learning he’d have to be dumped out of the plane should something go awry.

The unlikely “Goose” candidate made it back to solid ground in one piece, and Corden was ready to call it quits on Cruise’s spontaneous joyrides/kidnappings, but what the Late Late Show host didn’t know was that the first flight was merely a test run; they would be taking to the skies once more in a modern fighter jet.

After a myriad of futile protests and about-as-futile classroom preparations, Corden once again landed himself in the seat behind Cruise. What Corden wasn’t prepared for, however, was the stack of tricks that his friend(?) had up his sleeve this time around, from a full loop-de-loop to the appearance of a possible enemy plane.

The duo finally touched down for the last time, their bond simultaneously stronger and rockier than ever. Welcome to the family, James “Goose” Corden.

Top Gun: Maverick will release in theatres across the United States on May 27 later this year.