Top Gun: Maverick - Everything you need to know

Gabriella Geisinger, Matt Chapman
Photo credit: Skydance - Paramount

From Digital Spy

Just to get you up to speed, because we have a sudden and undeniable need for speed, Top Gun: Maverick is the sequel to the 1986 military drama Top Gun.

The first film followed the adventures of Pete Mitchell and Nick Bradshaw, who you may know better by their Navy call signs Maverick and Goose.

Paramount could have called the sequel Top Guns – plural – which was the original title of the first film before it was changed. But Tom Cruise revealed in 2017 that the second film would be named after his character.

Why no Goose in that movie title? Well he's dead, obvs. But check out our other news below...

Photo credit: Getty Images - Paramount

Top Gun 2 trailer: When can I see it?

The trailer was released at Comic-Con International on July 18. Maverick definitely still has the need for speed, so if you somehow missed it above, watch the trailer again below:

When the trailer was finally released, fans were quick to spot similarities between it and the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, citing specific shots that seemed almost identical to Episode IX's trailer.

And that wasn't the only thing about the trailer that stood out. Journalist Mark MacKinnon noticed something different about Maverick's jacket.

He wrote on Twitter: "There's a new Top Gun movie coming out. And Maverick is wearing the same leather jacket – only this time it's Communist Party of China-approved, so the Japanese and Taiwanese flag patches are gone (screenshot on right is from the new trailer)..."

But ex-navy pilot Ward Carroll clarified that fans shouldn't look too closely at the patches for meaning. He wrote: "The patch assortment on flight suits and jackets in the Top Gun franchise has always been a running joke (among running jokes) for those in the #NavyAir business. They are random in where they are placed and commands they represent. Seek no meaning because there is none."

Top Gun 2 release date: When's it out?

Initially, the studio gave Top Gun: Maverick a USA release date of July 12, 2019. This would put the sequel in cinemas 33 years after the first movie premiered stateside.

However, the movie was since delayed by a whole year. It will now debut in cinemas on June 17, 2020. The delay was in an effort to give filmmakers time to adjust the logistics of presenting flight sequences with new technology and planes.

Production on Top Gun: Maverick began in May 2018. Cruise confirmed filming by posting on Twitter. Based on the photos released from filming, Maverick has hardly aged in over 30 years.

Top Gun 2 cast: Who's coming back?

It's been more than 30 years since they faced off to be the best of the best, battling for the title of 'Top Gun' at the US Navy Fighter Weapons School in Miramar, San Diego. But Top Gun 2 will definitely see rivals Maverick (Cruise) and Iceman (Val Kilmer) reunite.

At one point Kilmer seemed to confirm that there would be a role for the otherwise retired Gene Hackman in the sequel. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a spot of dream casting and was quickly retracted (although it did at least give him an excellent excuse to crack an "I jumped the Top Gun" joke).

Anthony Edwards isn't ruling out a Ghost Goose plot, but at least if we don't get that, we do have Miles Teller appearing as Goose's son Bradley Bradshaw.

Photo credit: Jared Siskin / Contributor - Getty Images

One person who won't be back from the original is Michael Ironside as Lieutenant Commander Rick "Jester" Heatherly, with the actor putting it down to the fact that his relationship with producer Jerry Bruckheimer apparently isn't the greatest. As for Commander Mike "Viper" Metcalf, actor Tom Skerritt has yet to confirm whether the character will return in the sequel.

On Australia TV, Skerrit said: "I can't tell you anything about it, but there's a trailer out that is going to bring in a lot of ticket sales. It's almost a virtual-reality experience to watch the trailer. They're not talking much about it. As Tom Cruise likes to say, ‘If I have to tell you, I'll kill you!'" [sic]. His name is listed on the Wikipedia cast list, but not IMDB. Suspicious...

Photo credit: Paramount

Though the character does not appear in the trailer, some fans suspect the funeral scene depicted might be that of Viper. Say it ain't so!

After being rumoured for the role of Goose's son, Glen Powell did sign up for the movie in a mystery role. Could he be Maverick's son?

Related: Compare how Tom Cruise looks now to the rest of the Top Gun cast

The sequel will also star Jennifer Connelly as the movie's female lead, playing a single mother who runs a local bar near the Navy base. She'll be joined by Jon Hamm and Ed Harris, although details on their roles are being kept a mystery.

And while we don't know who Hamm is playing, he's promised Digital Spy that the movie will be worth the wait: "They showed me 15 minutes of footage and I left the trailer with my chin on the ground."

Based on the trailer alone, ScreenRant was able to deduce a few things, though. He is responsible for educating the new recruits and he is obviously accomplished given he has three stars oh his shirt. Which, you know, isn't a whole lot to go on.

One role we do know though is pilot Fritz, who will be played by The Good Place star Manny Jacinto (via Deadline).

A busy cast is rounded out with Monica Barbaro, Chelsea Harris, Charles Parnell, Jay Ellis, Bashir Salahuddin, Danny Ramirez, Lewis Pullman, Kara Wang, Jack Schumacher, Greg Tarzan Davis, Jake Picking, Raymond Lee, Jean Louisa Kelly and Lyliana Wray.

Behind the camera, Cruise is reunited with his Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski, while Cruise's Mission: Impossible collaborator Christopher McQuarrie is working on some script rewrites from the original screenplay written by Peter Craig, Justin Marks and Eric Warren Singer.

Top Gun 2 plot: Who are the bad guys?

The fist-pumping first movie saw the American pilots flip the bird at those pesky Russians, echoing the cold war vibe of the '80s.

Photo credit: Skydance - Paramount

The world moved on... But now it's seemingly moved back again, with Russian and American relations frosty once more. Could there be aerial combat between these two nations again?

What we do know is that the plot will likely be an ode to the end of the days of dogfighting as drone warfare takes over.

This idea dates back to the late, original Top Gun director Tony Scott, who said: "This world fascinated me, because it's so different from what it was originally. But I don't want to do a remake. I don't want to do a reinvention. I want to do a new movie."

"It's just a different world now, so you can't remake the first movie. It has to adapt," said Kosinski, as he teased a few details of his own. "The Navy is very different now than it was in 1986. Back then, they hadn't been in any war for 15 or 20 years at that point. Now, here in 2017, the Navy's been at war for 20 years."

Photo credit: Skydance - Paramount

There will still be a lot of "appropriate" action, though, according to Kosinski: "I certainly want to recreate the experience of that movie, which gives you a front-seat into the world of naval aviation and what it's like to be in a fighter jet."

Die-hard fans can breathe easy. Hamm told Collider the movie is "basically getting the whole team back together. Unfortunately, [original director] Tony Scott is unavailable, but they’ve achieved a very similar vibe to the first one."

Top Gun: Maverick is out in UK cinemas on June 17, 2020 and US cinemas on June 26, 2020.

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