‘Top Gun: Maverick’ director didn’t want to make a ‘cover band’ sequel

top gun maverick

Making a Top Gun sequel way back in the late 1980s on the heels of the original movie’s 1986 release would have been a daunting task even then — the film was easily one of the top box office draws of the era. But following it up over three decades later might be an even more intimidating task. Director Joseph Kosinski was up to the task — and he did it without creating a pale carbon copy of the first movie.

Although Top Gun: Maverick is unmistakably a continuation of the first film it’s far from an homage. The film has been pulling critical lauds which outpace the first film and has stacked some epic talent to back up Cruise as he steps back into Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s flight suit. The differences were absolutely a choice of the creative team, Kosinski told Deadline when asked how he managed to keep the film feeling fresh.

“We said from the beginning we didn’t want to make the “cover band” version of Top Gun. The film should acknowledge the past, but also bring new elements to the table through story, characters, and visuals. Sometimes it did feel like we were looking backward a little too much so we would make adjustments by either changing a scene or cutting it entirely.”

– Joseph Kosinski
Top Gun Maverick

The determination to keep it original seems to be paying off. The film is currently sporting a 97% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes critic weighted Tomatometer and is predicted to gross between $95-130 million in its opening weekend by boxofficepro.com.

Top Gun: Maverick will hit theaters on May 27.