How old was Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Top Gun: Maverick?’
Somehow he seems both too young and too old to be flying a fighter jet.
Tom Cruise is no stranger to box-office success, but 2022’s Top Gun: Maverick takes the cake in terms of the actor’s biggest blockbuster, which is quite the accomplishment considering the A-lister filmed the original, Top Gun 36 years earlier.
The movie generated an eye-watering $1.4 billion at the box office and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It was repeatedly praised for single-handedly saving movie theaters. Cruise, meanwhile, was deemed Hollywood’s guardian angel. Had it not been for James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water , he would have been named the biggest star to headline the biggest film of the year. If you’re one who believes Avatar ‘s success comes from its immersive CGI alone (and not its story), you still might.
Ever the action movie star, Cruise is known for not relying on CGI to do carry out his stunt work, even if that sometimes leads to injury . While there were trained Navy pilots actually piloting the jets in Top Gun: Maverick , Cruise was still flying around in an F-18 Super Hornet, which is impressive to say the least, especially considering the film takes place a full three decades after the first one. Naturally, that begs the question of just how old Cruise was when he was climbing inside the cockpit. Both times.
Tom Cruise was a young adult in Top Gun and a middle-aged man in Top Gun: Maverick
The first Top Gun was directed by Tony Scott and released in 1986. Tom Cruise was a young man in the film, as he was born in 1962, making him only 24 years old when the movie was released. The film followed Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a hotshot United States Naval Aviator — played by Cruise — as he is sent to attend TOPGUN, the Naval Fighter Weapons School. Alongside him is Lieutenant Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, played by Anthony Edwards, who died halfway through the film, as well as his rival, Lieutenant Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, played by Val Kilmer.
Top Gun: Maverick , directed by Joseph Kosinski, continues the story of Maverick, who is now a captain, as he is picked to instruct a new team of pilots for a dangerous mission. Among these expert pilots is Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, who is the son of Goose, Maverick’s best friend who died in the first film.
Cruise’s age in Maverick is interesting in that he was technically 57 years old when the movie finished filming in 2019, but due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, he found himself at the ripe age of 59 when it was finally premired in theaters in May 2022.
It just shows you that no matter his age, Cruise still has his “need for speed”, which is something that all $1.4 billion dollars worth of audience members can appreciate. To see him in action, you can stream both Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick on Paramount’s streaming service, Paramount Plus.
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Tristyn Akbas is an SEO writer for We Got This Covered. He graduated from the University of New South Wales, with a Bachelor's Degree in Film and Writing. Tristyn specializes in the geekier side of writing and is always up to date on the latest movies, TV, comic books, and video games. He particularly likes anything superhero or horror-related, and in his free time, you'll find him earning PlayStation trophies.
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Top Gun: Maverick
After thirty years, Maverick is still pushing the envelope as a top naval aviator, but must confront ghosts of his past when he leads TOP GUN's elite graduates on a mission that demands the ... Read all After thirty years, Maverick is still pushing the envelope as a top naval aviator, but must confront ghosts of his past when he leads TOP GUN's elite graduates on a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it. After thirty years, Maverick is still pushing the envelope as a top naval aviator, but must confront ghosts of his past when he leads TOP GUN's elite graduates on a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it.
- Joseph Kosinski
- Jack Epps Jr.
- Peter Craig
- Jennifer Connelly
- Miles Teller
- 4.2K User reviews
- 431 Critic reviews
- 78 Metascore
- 93 wins & 217 nominations total
- Capt. Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell
- Penny Benjamin
- Lt. Bradley 'Rooster' Bradshaw
- Adm. Tom 'Iceman' Kazansky
- CWO4 Bernie 'Hondo' Coleman
- Adm. Beau 'Cyclone' Simpson
- Adm. Solomon 'Warlock' Bates
- Lt. Natasha 'Phoenix' Trace
- Lt. Robert 'Bob' Floyd
- Lt. Reuben 'Payback' Fitch
- Lt. Mickey 'Fanboy' Garcia
- Lt. Jake 'Hangman' Seresin
- Lt. Neil 'Omaha' Vikander
- Lt. Billy 'Fritz' Avalone
- Lt. Callie 'Halo' Bassett
- Lt. Javy 'Coyote' Machado
- Lt. Brigham 'Harvard' Lennox
- Lt. Logan 'Yale' Lee
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- Trivia At the insistence of Tom Cruise , minimal green screen and CGI aerial shots exist in the film, and even the close up cockpit shots were taken during real in-flight sequences. This meant that much of the cast had to undergo extensive G-force training sessions to withstand the physical demands of G-force pressures during flights.
- Goofs At 1h12'10" Coyote is in G-LOC, releases the stick and his aircraft falls towards the ground. Super-hornet are equipped with auto GCAS (automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System) which would react to the situation and take the control to climb and level at a safe altitude with no obstacles. This system was already in place in the Hornet and has saved multiple lives.
Rear Admiral : Maverick. Thirty-plus years of service. Combat medals. Citations. Only man to shoot down three enemy planes in the last 40 years.
[Cain looks through pages of Maverick's records]
Rear Admiral : 'Distinguished.' 'Distinguished.' 'Distinguished.' Yet you can't get a promotion, you won't retire, and despite your best efforts, you refuse to die. You should be at least a two-star admiral by now, if not a senator. Yet here you are: Captain. Why is that?
Maverick : It's one of life's mysteries, sir.
Rear Admiral : This isn't a joke. I asked you a question.
Maverick : I'm where I belong, sir.
Rear Admiral : Well, the navy doesn't see it that way. Not anymore.
Rear Admiral : These planes you've been testing, Captain, one day, sooner or later, they won't need pilots at all. Pilots that need to sleep, eat, take a piss. Pilots that disobey orders. All you did was buy some time for those men out there. The future is coming, and you're not in it.
[Cain faces the officer by the door]
Rear Admiral : Escort this man off the base. Take him to his quarters. Wait with him while he packs his gear. I want him on the road to North Island within the hour.
[surprised look on Maverick's face]
Maverick : North Island, sir?
Rear Admiral : Call came in with impeccable timing, right as I was driving here to ground your ass once and for all. It galls me to say it, but... for reasons known only to the Almighty and your guardian angel, you've been called back to Top Gun.
Maverick : Sir?
Rear Admiral : You are dismissed, Captain.
[Maverick proceeds to leave Cain's office]
Rear Admiral : The end is inevitable, Maverick. Your kind is headed for extinction.
[Maverick turns around]
Maverick : Maybe so, sir. But not today.
- Crazy credits "Top Gun 001: Tom Cruise" is listed among the other pilots who worked on the film
- Connections Featured in Conan: Tom Cruise (2019)
- Soundtracks Danger Zone From Top Gun (1986) Original Soundtrack Written by Giorgio Moroder & Tom Whitlock Performed by Kenny Loggins Courtesy of Columbia Records By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
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- May 25, 2022
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- May 27, 2022 (United States)
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- May 29, 2022
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'Top Gun: Maverick' Cast & Character Guide: Who's Who in the Legacy Sequel
Meet the daring pilots joining Maverick in the Danger Zone!
Top Gun: Maverick is one of the biggest blockbusters since the 2020 pandemic. The film sees Pete "Maverick" Mitchell ( Tom Cruise ) return to the esteemed school, Top Gun, to lead a group of young aviators on a near-impossible mission. Seeing Tom Cruise return to Top Gun over 30 years later was a memorable sight. Top Gun: Maverick features familiar faces, new characters, and even appearances of characters who were only mentioned by name. This is a complete character guide for Top Gun: Maverick. Now that the biggest film of the year is available to stream exclusively on Paramount+, we’ve got you covered on who's who.
Related: When Will ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Be Available To Stream?
Tom Cruise as Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell
The main character of both Top Gun films is Maverick himself, Pete Mitchell, played by the legendary Tom Cruise. Maverick started as a loose cannon who marched at the beat of his own drum. After the death of his best friend, Goose ( Anthony Edwards ), Maverick learned to grow up and become one of the best aviators in the Navy. When we meet Maverick in the Top Gun sequel, he is still as stubborn as ever, but now he’s often fighting for others. Once he’s tasked with returning to Top Gun, Maverick’s number one priority is making sure the pilots return home from their mission with zero casualties.
Tom Cruise is one of the biggest stars on the planet. You can see him in Edge of Tomorrow , the Mission Impossible series, and American Made ; his upcoming films include Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning (Parts 1 and 2), with both Luna Park and Edge of Tomorrow 2 in development.
Val Kilmer as Adm. Tom "Iceman" Kazansky
Top Gun: Maverick went so far as to make Kilmer’s real-life battle with cancer a part of Iceman’s character. The Iceman graduated Top Gun alongside Maverick. The two didn’t see eye-to-eye at first, but they became best friends by the end of the first film. Val Kilmer delivers a terrific performance as Ice, and Top Gun: Maverick allowed the actor to return to the role. Kilmer had to retire from acting due to throat cancer so the film might be Kilmer’s last role, making it all the more touching.
Val Kilmer has a stellar filmography. Some of his most iconic work includes Tombstone , Kiss Kiss Bang Bang , and Heat . He’s also known for starring in Joel Schumacher’s cult classic, Batman Forever .
Miles Teller as Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw
Miles Teller stars as Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw. The son of Nick ‘Goose’ Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards) and Carole Bradshaw ( Meg Ryan ), Rooster and Maverick’s relationship is one of the film's most significant sources of tension. After the death of Goose in the first film, Maverick feels guilt but also a duty to take care of Carole and Bradley. This leads to friction between Bradley and Maverick since Carole doesn’t want Bradley to be an aviator and get killed like his father. As a favor to Carole, Maverick sets Rooster back three years.
This doesn’t stop Rooster, and he becomes a solid naval aviator. Good enough to be invited back to Top Gun, where Maverick confronts him. The two have a unique relationship, and Rooster is one of the standout characters. Miles Teller is best known for his performances in Whiplash , War Dogs , and Fantastic Four (2015). His most recent film is Spiderhead , and his upcoming projects are The Ark and the Aardvark , The Fence , and The Gorge where he'll star alongside Anya Taylor-Joy .
Jennifer Connelly as Penny Benjamin
Penny is a character that was referenced in the original Top Gun but didn’t make an appearance until Top Gun Maverick . Penny and Maverick have had an on-again-off-again relationship for years, and we see their latest encounter in Top Gun: Maverick . Penny has a daughter named Amelia and owns a bar near Top Gun. Jennifer Connelly brings Penny Benjamin to life. Penny and Mav rekindle their relationship during his time back, and hopefully, it will last. She might be Maverick’s oldest and closest friend, making their bond all the more important to him. Connelly’s notable works include A Beautiful Mind , Requiem For a Dream , and Labyrinth . Connelly will next be seen in Alice Englert 's feature directorial debut Bad Behavior , where she'll star opposite Ben Whishaw .
Lyliana Wray as Amelia Benjamin
Amelia Benjamin is Penny’s daughter. She loves her mother and has a good rapport with Maverick. With the stranger nature of Penny and Maverick’s relationship, Amelia simply wants what’s best for her mother. Lyliana Wray has guest-starred on Black-ish , The Night Shift , and Strange Angel .
Glen Powell as Lt. Jake "Hangman" Seresin
Lt. Jake Seresin is one of the best pilots in Top Gun, but he’s reckless and leaves his fellow aviators hanging, hence the name. Ironically, Hangman isn’t so different from Maverick during his first stint at Top Gun. In a way, Hangman and Rooster mirror Maverick and Iceman. Glen Powell ’s charisma is on full display as Hangman. The actor initially auditioned for the role of Rooster but later took on the part of Hangman after a conversation with Tom Cruise . Glen Powell previously starred in Set It Up , Scream Queens , and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society . He most recently starred in another aviation-themed film, Devotion , where he starred opposite Jonathan Majors . Powell's career has exploded since the release of Top Gun: Maverick landing leading roles in high-profile projects like Richard Linklater 's action-comedy Hitman , the Kat Coiro -directed buddy-comedy Foreign Relations where he'll play opposite Nick Jonas , and the big-budget Prime Video original series Butch & Sundance which also stars Regé-Jean Page and is a reboot of the classic film Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid .
Monica Barbaro as Lt. Natasha "Phoenix" Trace
Phoenix is one of two female pilots invited to Top Gun. She is often at odds with Hangman and a friend to Rooster and the rest of the aviators. Monica Barbaro is best known for her time on Chicago Justice , The Good Cop , and Splitting Up Togethe r. Her next projects will be a voice-role in the Netflix anime series Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas and playing the co-lead in the Arnold Schwarzenegger -led Netflix series Utap .
Related: 'Top Gun: Maverick': Watch Miles Teller Rock Out to "Great Balls of Fire" in New Video
Lewis Pullman as Lt. Robert "Bob" Floyd
Bob becomes Phoenix's second seat and a trusted friend. His name is Bob, and his call sign is Bob, making for pretty funny banter between him and his fellow pilots. Lewis Pullman has previously appeared in Bad Times at the El Royale , Catch-22 , and Them That Follow . His subsequent appearances are in Thelma , Auxiliary Man , Salem’s Lot , and the Brie Larson -led Apple series Lessons in Chemistry .
Jay Ellis as Lt. Reuben "Payback" Fitch
Payback and his partner Fanboy prove to be terrific pilots under Maverick’s teachings. So much so that they are chosen as major players in the upcoming mission. Jay Ellis starred as Payback and was previously seen in Insecure , Mrs. America , and Masters of Sex . His next role is in the forthcoming film, Someone I Used to Know from director Dave Franco .
Danny Ramirez as Lt. Mickey "Fanboy" Garcia
Fanboy is Payback’s flight partner and operates the backseat controls. He serves the same role Bob does for Pheonix or what Goose did for Maverick. Danny Ramirez most recently appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier , Assassination Nation , and No Exit . His upcoming projects are Plus/Minus , Chestnut , and Captain America: New World Order .
Bashir Salahuddin as Wo-1. Bernie "Hondo" Coleman
Bernie is a Warrant Officer Rank 1 and is working on a program that Maverick is test-piloting. When Maverick gets called back to Top Gun, Hondo goes with him and becomes his assistant coach. Bashir Salahuddin is the writer and star of Sherman’s Showcase , where he plays Sherman McDaniels. He has also appeared in Robot Chicken , The Dropout , and has an upcoming project titled Paradise .
Jon Hamm as Adm. Beau "Cyclone" Simpson
Admiral Simpson is tasked with overseeing Maverick’s mission. He doesn’t tolerate Maverick’s shenanigans and doesn’t think he’s the man for the job. Cyclone is very strict and has a no-nonsense attitude, making him the perfect foil for Maverick. Jon Ham is best known as Don Draper from Mad Men. He has also appeared in Tag , Baby Driver , The Town , and he most recently starred in the title role in Confess, Fletch . 2023 looks to be a huge year for Hamm, he'll be reprising his role as Gabriel in Season 2 of Good Omens , will be joining the cast of Season 3 of the Apple original series The Morning Show , will play one of the leads in Season 5 of Fargo , he'll lend his voice to the animated comedy series Grimsburg, and will star in John Slattery 's directorial debut Maggie Moore(s) .
Charles Parnell as Adm. Solomon "Warlock" Bates
Admiral Bates is much more forgiving of Maverick’s past and wants to support him. Warlock works alongside Cyclone and offers a less-strict approach to the situation at hand. Charles Parnell has starred in many projects, including, The Last Ship , The Venture Bros. , and T ransformers: Age of Extinction . He most recently appeared in the FX series Kindred . He is slated to appear in Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning - Part One and David Fincher 's action-noir film The Killer .
Ed Harris as Rear Admiral Chaster "Hammer" Cain
Ed Harris has a brief appearance in Top Gun: Maverick , but his presence is felt. We meet Hammer when Maverick is attempting to push his plane to Mach 10 to save the program he’s currently test-piloting for. Hammer arrives to shut down the program in person, and Maverick is flying overhead as he comes. Hammer later informs Maverick that Iceman wants him to report to Top Gun. Ed Harris is known for his roles in The Truman Show , Apollo 13 , Westworld , and Pollock . His upcoming projects include Love Lies Bleeding , Downtown Owl , and Get Away If You Can .
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Tom Cruise’s ‘Top Gun: Maverick’: Everything to Know About the Film’s Release Date, Plot and 1st Wave of Reviews
The need for speed! After much anticipation from both the cast and fans alike, Tom Cruise ’s Top Gun: Maverick finally hit theaters in May.
Cruise, 59, who played pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in 1986’s Top Gun , announced back in summer 2017 that a sequel was in the works.
“We’re going to have the same tone that we had from the first,” the Jerry Maguire star told Access Hollywood in June 2017, revealing the official title. “Stylistically, it’s going to be the same.”
The original movie — which also starred Kelly McGillis , Anthony Edwards , Meg Ryan and Val Kilmer — followed a rookie Maverick as he attended the United States Navy’s elite fighter weapons school. Throughout the film, Maverick went head-to-head with Kilmer’s Iceman as they competed to be “top gun” a.k.a. the best pilot in the class .
More than 30 years later, Cruise’s Maverick returned to his old stomping grounds in Top Gun: Maverick to train the newest Top Gun recruits, including Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw ( Miles Teller ), who is the son of his late friend Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Edwards).
“Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears,” the film’s official synopsis read. “Culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.”
While fans had to wait four years to see the sequel come to fruition , Glen Powell , who plays student Hangman in the new movie, teased the finished product in August 2020 after wrapping filming one year prior.
“Tom and I talked after I watched it, and I told him! I was like, ‘I literally have no more fingernails left. I’ve chewed off all of my fingernails.’ … You cry, you laugh. It’s got adventure. It’s got romance,” the Texas native, 33, exclusively told Us Weekly at the time. “It’s just like one of those movies, where you’re like, ‘Oh, God, why can’t all movies be this fun and great?’ It’s so rare.”
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The Scream Queens alum confessed that he did shed a tear or two while watching the movie. “It was a manly cry!” Powell said with a laugh. “There were tears but they were dry and salty, you know!”
Scroll down for everything to know about Top Gun: Maverick :
Credit: Paramount Pictures
The need for speed! After much anticipation from both the cast and fans alike, Tom Cruise ’s Top Gun: Maverick finally hit theaters in May. Cruise, 59, who played pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in 1986’s Top Gun , announced back in summer 2017 that a sequel was in the works. “We’re going to have the same tone that we had from the first,” the Jerry Maguire star told Access Hollywood in June 2017, revealing the official title. “Stylistically, it’s going to be the same.” The original movie — which also starred Kelly McGillis , Anthony Edwards , Meg Ryan and Val Kilmer — followed a rookie Maverick as he attended the United States Navy’s elite fighter weapons school. Throughout the film, Maverick went head-to-head with Kilmer’s Iceman as they competed to be “top gun” a.k.a. the best pilot in the class . More than 30 years later, Cruise’s Maverick returned to his old stomping grounds in Top Gun: Maverick to train the newest Top Gun recruits, including Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw ( Miles Teller ), who is the son of his late friend Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Edwards). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVcMsjyKlaM "Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears,” the film’s official synopsis read. “Culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it." While fans had to wait four years to see the sequel come to fruition , Glen Powell , who plays student Hangman in the new movie, teased the finished product in August 2020 after wrapping filming one year prior. “Tom and I talked after I watched it, and I told him! I was like, ‘I literally have no more fingernails left. I’ve chewed off all of my fingernails.’ … You cry, you laugh. It’s got adventure. It’s got romance,” the Texas native, 33, exclusively told Us Weekly at the time. “It’s just like one of those movies, where you’re like, ‘Oh, God, why can’t all movies be this fun and great?’ It’s so rare.” The Scream Queens alum confessed that he did shed a tear or two while watching the movie. “It was a manly cry!” Powell said with a laugh. “There were tears but they were dry and salty, you know!” Scroll down for everything to know about Top Gun: Maverick :
When Did It Film?
Cruise confirmed in May 2018 via social media that filming was underway. The cast wrapped shooting one year later in June 2019.
Credit: Scott Garfield/Paramount Pictures
When Did It Come Out?
The movie was originally slated to hit theaters in June 2020 but was later pushed to July 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Top Gun: Maverick was released in the U.S. on Friday, May 27, and in the U.K. two days prior.
Credit: Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
In addition to Cruise reprising his role as Maverick, director Joseph Kosinski teased in January 2020 that Kilmer would be back as Maverick’s formal rival, Iceman. "The rivalry and relationship between Iceman and Maverick is one of those things that makes that first film so iconic," he told Entertainment Weekly at the time. "It's a relationship that is important to the Top Gun franchise and as a fan, I would want to see how it's evolved."
In March 2022, Kilmer confirmed his cameo by tweeting the trailer for the movie. “Here we go in 3 … 2 … 1 #TopGunMaverick Official Trailer,” he captioned the clip. “#Iceman signing off.”
Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
Who Else Is in the Cast?
Newbies Teller and Powell were joined by Jennifer Connelly as Penny Benjamin, Lewis Pullman as Bob, Jon Hamm as Cyclone, Ed Harris as Rear Admiral, Monica Barbaro as Phoenix, Manny Jacinto as Fritz, Jay Ellis as Payback and Jean Louisa Kelly as Carole Bradshaw.
What’s It About?
"After more than 30 years of service as one of the Navy's top aviators, Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him," the official synopsis reads. "He finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen.”
Cruise surprised fans in July 2019 by unveiling the first look at Top Gun: Maverick at San Diego Comic Con. The trailer kicked off with Rear Admiral (Harris) reading off a laundry list of Maverick’s skills and tendency to take risks, saying, “Despite your best efforts you refuse to die.”
The admiral then questions why Maverick hasn’t moved up in rank, adding, “You should at least be a two-star Admiral by now. Yet here you are, captain. Why is that?” Maverick simply replies, “It’s one of life’s mysteries, sir.”
The teaser also showed Maverick back in the cockpit, putting on his aviator sunglasses and leather jacket and hitting the road on his motorcycle. Glimpses of a funeral, the new recruits and his love interest Penny (Connelly), played out in the background.
Credit: Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock
Jon Hamm Teases Hi-Def Filming
“They’re using some technology on this that is never before seen. We’re shooting the movie in, I think, 6K. So it’s incredibly hi-def,” the Mad Men alum, 51, told Collider in May 2019. “The aerial footage is mind-blowing. And it’s mostly practical. There’s not a lot of CG. Those guys are really up in planes and getting thrown around in multiple Gs. … It very much takes the story in a different direction. But I think for the new fans it’s gonna be something very cool, too. I’ve seen some of the footage, it is out of this world.”
Credit: Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock
Glen Powell Is ‘Excited’ By Final Product
“I got to see the full cut of it the other day. It is one of the greatest movies of all time. I am so excited to show the world this,” he exclusively told Us in August 2020. “What makes me feel so good about it is that when you know you have the goods, there’s no need to rush it.”
New Trailer Gives More Details
Paramount Pictures gave viewers one final look at the movie with its March 2022 trailer. In the new teaser, fans get a better feel for all the Top Gun recruits, including Goose’s son, Rooster (Teller), and his apparent rival, Hangman (Powell). “Good morning, aviators, this is your captain speaking,” Maverick says as he surprises his students by flying into the air during a training course.
In another scene, viewers quickly learn that while Goose’s wife didn’t seem to hold Maverick responsible for his death in the original movie, his son isn’t as sure about what went down. “My dad believed in you, I’m not going to make the same mistake,” Rooster tells Maverick during one of his missions, hinting at some hostility between the young pilot and his late father’s best friend.
Credit: Oliver Contreras/UPI/Shutterstock
Early Reviews Are In
In April 2022, Paramount Pictures debuted the film at CinemaCon and received an overwhelming amount of positive reviews . Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes reporter Erik Davis tweeted his take on the filming, writing at the time , “Folks, trust me when I say this is a legitimately GREAT film. Whatever your plans are for Memorial Day weekend, make #TopGunMaverick a part of them. I think I cried the whole friggin’ movie because I’m such a dork. Loved the cast, and it’s another classic @TomCruise performance.”
We Live Entertainment journalist Scott Menzel agreed, tweeting , “ Top Gun Maverick is going to completely blow away fans of the original and may even make some new ones along the way. Truthfully, even though the plot is very dependent on that of the original, I found the film to be better than the original in almost every way. #TopGunMaverick.”
Credit: Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock for BAFTA
How Is Lady Gaga Involved?
The 36-year-old Grammy winner released a new song written for the movie in May 2022 called “Hold My Hand.”
Credit: Shutterstock (2)
Why Tom Wanted Val to Return
"I really rallied hard for him to make the movie," Cruise told Entertainment Tonight in May 2022 of Kilmer’s cameo. "The kind of talent that he has, and you see that scene [with him in it], it's very special. It's just very special.”
Credit: F Sadou/Admedia/Sipa/Shutterstock
Why Meg Ryan and Kelly McGillis Didn't Return
Kosinski revealed in a May 2022 interview with Insider that he didn’t ask original actors Ryan and McGillis to return because he “didn’t want every storyline [in the movie] to always be looking backwards," adding, “It was important to introduce some new characters."
McGillis, for her part, told Entertainment Tonight in 2019 her own opinion on why she wasn't asked to reprise her role.
“I’m old, and I’m fat, and I look age-appropriate for what my age is. And that is not what that whole scene is about," she explained.
How Successful Is the Film?
Deadline reported on Saturday, May 28, that the action-adventure sequel grossed $150 million over four days, Cruise's best stateside opening weekend ever for a film.
Credit: James Veysey/Shutterstock
Blasting to the Top of the Box Office
On June 14, 2022, Top Gun: Maverick became the highest-grossing movie of the year, bringing in over $400 million at the domestic box office. It is the second highest earning film of the pandemic era, blasting past Doctor Strange 2: Multiverse of Madness and only falling short of Spiderman: No Way Home . It is projected to earn over $1 billion before it leaves theaters.
Are There Deleted Scenes?
In a June 2022 video, Teller can be seen playing piano and singing to “Great Balls of Fire” in never-before-seen footage. While Top Gun: Maverick showed snippets of the sing-a-long, the special clip included the Pennsylvania native's entire musical performance.
Credit: Merie W Wallace/20th Century Fox/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock
Rising to the Top
In July 2022, Top Gun: Maverick became Paramount Pictures' highest-grossing movie in the United States and Canada after earning $601.9 million in the first month of its theatrical release. The sequel unseated Titanic — which earned $600.8 on its first run — as the studio's most successful film and became the first one of Cruise's films to earn more than $1 billion in box-office sales worldwide.
Credit: Courtesy of Skydance Media
When Can Fans Stream the Movie?
The blockbuster hit will premiere on Paramount+ on December 22.
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Meet the New Class of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’
From trying not to vomit in flight to oiling up for a beach scene, the actors playing pilots got a crash course in the Tom Cruise school of action filmmaking.
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By Ashley Spencer
Thirty-six years after Iceman, Hollywood and Cougar took to the skies in “Top Gun,” a new team of colorfully nicknamed characters are suiting up in “ Top Gun: Maverick.”
This time, the aviators are recent graduates of the Navy’s elite fighter school, a.k.a. Top Gun, and they’re tasked with a near-impossible mission overseen by Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, the brash pilot played by Tom Cruise. Flying alongside Rooster, the son of the original film’s ill-fated Goose, are Hangman, Phoenix, Bob, Coyote, Fanboy and Payback, who must help destroy a foreign enemy’s uranium plant and get out alive. (Though the characters all have actual names, they’re introduced by their aviator call signs, and that’s how they’re known.)
The intensive tutelage began offscreen: Cruise monitored the actors’ progress during a grueling five-month training program that culminated in the cast shooting their own action sequences from the back of real F/A-18 jets flown by Navy fighter pilots.
Here’s a peek at the new generation of actors behind the call signs.
“Maverick” role: Hangman
Where you’ve seen him before: “Set It Up,” “Hidden Figures,” “Scream Queens”
Powell originally auditioned to play Rooster (then called Rascal) but lost out to Miles Teller. Then, when Powell was offered the role that would become Hangman, he turned it down for fear it would be a copy-and-paste take on Val Kilmer’s antagonistic Iceman in the 1986 film. Cruise persuaded Powell to sign on, and they worked together to make the character distinctly Powell’s own. Still, the cocky, confrontational pilot shares more than a few traits with Iceman — as does Powell with Kilmer. When Powell moved out of the San Diego hotel where he had stayed during filming, he bumped into Kilmer, who had just arrived to shoot his scene. “The last things that I moved out of my room were protein powder, weights and tequila,” Powell said. “I’m literally wheeling them on a luggage cart into the elevator, and as the doors are about to close, Val steps in. He looks at me. Then he looks at the luggage cart. And he just started dying laughing. He’s like, ‘This is ‘Top Gun’ right here.’”
“Maverick” role: Phoenix
Where you’ve seen her before: “ The Good Cop,” “Chicago Justice,” “UnREAL”
The military did not allow women to fly in combat until 1993 , and in the first “Top Gun,” all of the Navy fighter pilot characters were men. Barbaro’s role in the sequel is a reflection of the service’s inclusive shift, and her filmed flights were all handled by female Navy fighter pilots. “When I found out I got the part, I was like, ‘Mom, I got it! And guess what? I get to play a pilot. I’m not a love interest!’” the Northern California native said. “We used the women that we got to fly with as role models for how we designed the character.” And while the actors were allowed to change their characters’ call signs, it quickly became clear during the cast’s downtime together that “Phoenix” was a good fit for Barbaro: “Let’s just say, we had one pretty wild night, and the next morning they were surprised that I arose from the ashes.”
Greg Tarzan Davis
“Maverick” role: Coyote
Where you’ve seen him before: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Good Trouble,” “Chicago P.D.”
Not long before landing “Maverick,” Davis was an elementary schoolteacher in his home state of Louisiana. “I’m a big believer in following your dreams. I would preach that to my students,” Davis said. “But I realized I wasn’t doing that — because my dream was to be an actor. So I decided to give it a shot.” In a role reversal, Davis, who has gone by Tarzan since his own “wild” youth, said he felt like a kid throughout production, enthralled by the aviation toys and tasked with learning new things. While “Maverick” was in postproduction, he got a call from Christopher McQuarrie, the writer-director of “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One”; the frequent Cruise collaborator was asking him to join the cast, no audition required. “I put the phone on mute and jumped up and down and screamed,” Davis said. “That was my first offer, and having an offer is an actor’s dream.”
“Maverick” role: Bob
Where you’ve seen him before: “Outer Range,” “Bad Times at the El Royale,” “Catch-22”
Of all the call signs, Pullman’s “Bob” (also his character’s first name) is the most mysteriously straightforward. “Bob is reclusive and quiet and a hard nut to crack,” Pullman said. “One of the original drafts had this moment where he kind of earned his stripes, and Hangman says, ‘I think I know what Bob stands for: Big Ol’ Balls.’ They didn’t end up using that, but it gave me a reference for Bob’s trajectory. He starts out as this unassuming guy, who then finds his strength.” Pullman needed strength of his own when Cruise walked into the first table read. Despite being the son of the actor Bill Pullman, Lewis was star-struck. “Tom basically ripped through the doors. His motorcycle in the background. He’s got his helmet on. The sun is glistening. He takes his helmet off, and his hair is perfect,” he said. “Tom is like Cary Grant and Buzz Aldrin and Buster Keaton and Evel Knievel all woven into one man.”
“Maverick” role: Payback
Where you’ve seen him before: “Insecure,” “Escape Room,” “The Game”
Ellis distinctly recalls the day his father, who was then a mechanic in the Air Force, took him to see the first “Top Gun” in a theater on base in Austin, Texas. “I remember just looking up at the screen thinking, ‘I want to do that. Whatever those guys are up there doing, I want to be a part of that somehow,’” he said. Rather than enlist, Ellis became an actor. Fast forward three decades, and he found himself shooting “Maverick” and paying homage to the original’s beach volleyball scene with a game of beach football as the camera panned over the cast’s glistening muscles for a sun-dappled montage. “We probably went through five different types of oil because the makeup team was trying to figure out what wouldn’t soak into everyone’s skin so quickly,” Ellis said. “We started out with baby oil, then we moved on to argan oil, coconut oil, avocado oil. We switched to glycerin at one point. They were spraying us down with Evian bottles. It made for a very slippery game.”
“Maverick” role: Fanboy
Where you’ve seen him before: “ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “On My Block,” “Assassination Nation”
Before signing on, the actors had to check a box attesting they weren’t afraid of flying. “I lied,” Ramirez said with a laugh. “I was like, What’s the worst that could happen? It’s a Tom Cruise movie, that means he’ll be the one doing the stunts.” Without his usual commercial-flight routine of wine and noise-canceling headphones, Ramirez found himself struggling not to vomit as his F/A-18 rolled and dove through the air. The actors each had their own tricks to cope with motion sickness: Davis relied on Dramamine. Pullman preferred a preflight diet of rice and fresh ginger. For Ramirez, slowly building tolerance in incrementally smaller and faster planes was key. Adding to the degree of difficulty: They not only had to deliver their lines, but also set up the shots and adjust the cameras themselves once in the air. “I was like, ‘Are we going to get some kind of camera operator credit or what?’” he said. “Having to line up another jet going 500 miles an hour to stay within the frame was an experience I’m probably never going to have again.”
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The New Top Gun Is So Much Better Than the First One
I t no longer matters whether you like or dislike Tom Cruise : no matter how good he looks in his ultra-moisturized, deal-with-the-devil skin, his ship has sailed not just into the waters of middle age, but beyond them. Always a performer desperate to be liked, Cruise has entered a new era, one of potential irrelevance, which could be the best thing that’s ever happened to him. In a world where we’re all either captivated or annoyed by TikTok , freaked out about global warming and the loss of a woman’s right to choose , and trying to coax recalcitrant relatives into getting vaccinated, it’s not even worth the effort to dislike him. And that, if you’re a person who has never liked Tom Cruise, frees you to enjoy the myriad over-the-top pleasures of Top Gun: Maverick.
Top Gun: Maverick , directed by Joseph Kosinski, is a much better film than its predecessor was, and much better than it needs to be overall. Tony Scott’s 1986 jockstrap of a movie about hotshot Naval pilots—produced by fast-lane Hollywood players Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, who perhaps bear more responsibility for its numbnuts machismo than Scott does—is a caveman relic that has achieved enduring popularity, a high-fiving fantasy populated with dude bros before we even had a name for them. In the ’80s, we went to Jim Jarmusch movies to get away from these guys.
Yet it’s easy to make peace with the 2022 version of these men, Cruise included. Top Gun: Maverick takes place in a world where no one seems to be all that worried about the threat to modern masculinity. One of the pilots in the current gang happens to be a woman (she’s played by Monica Barbaro), but even if that’s a significant departure from the 1986 movie, made at a time when women weren’t allowed to fly in combat, it’s still beside the point. Without ridiculing or diminishing them, Top Gun: Maverick allows its male characters to have doubts and insecurities, to fear that maybe they can’t be the best, to worry about being too old to matter. At one point Ed Harris, playing a crusty admiral in a cameo role that nods to The Right Stuff, one of the truly great movies of the ’80s, practically snarls at Cruise, playing aging whippersnapper Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, for disobeying orders: “The future is coming, and you’re not in it.” Even if this is cartoon anxiety about being sent out to pasture, it still counts. Every generation gets the feeling of creeping obsolescence it deserves.
And Maverick is feeling it. Never having achieved a rank higher than Captain, knowing that climbing the ranks would only ground him, he’s been working as a test pilot for the Navy: in an early sequence, he gets his Chuck Yeager moment, climbing into a plane that’s like a space bird and pushing both it and himself to the limit. What has he got to lose? But it turns out that that proverbial one last job is waiting for him: His old friend and rival Iceman ( Val Kilmer , whose inability to speak has been deftly written into the role), who is now officially a big gun, has called him in to train a group of youngsters for an almost impossible mission. They’ll have to guide their planes through—not above—a twisty canyon, flying at dangerously low altitudes, with the goal of taking out an enemy airstrip and bunker. Jealous Navy dude and uptight authority figure Cyclone (Jon Hamm) doesn’t think Maverick is up to the task, which of course means he can’t turn it down.
clock This article was published more than 1 year ago
Tom Cruise’s rare feat: Reviving Maverick, 36 years later
The new ‘top gun’ sequel isn’t the first time an actor has returned to a role after a long hiatus, but it doesn’t happen often.
Tom Cruise has hung off the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai and dangled from the wing of a plane thousands of feet above the earth. He has ridden a motorcycle off a cliff and held his breath underwater for six and a half minutes. He has even survived starring in “Cocktail” (1988) and jumping on Oprah’s couch (2005). But with the theatrical release of “Top Gun: Maverick,” Cruise accomplishes a feat that could be record-breaking. He’s portraying a character — hotshot fighter pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell — that he first brought to the screen 36 years ago, perhaps the longest delay for a return appearance in Hollywood movie history.
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ rocks, with finesse, style and genuine emotion
Double plays (and more) are hardly unheard of, especially in a modern Hollywood addicted to franchise properties and characters. More people know Robert Downey Jr. from nine movies — nine! — as Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man , than from anything else he has done in his career. But Cruise’s feat is unusual for a number of reasons. The original “Top Gun” (1986) was a massive hit and a pop-culture touchstone (and a pretty terrible movie, but never mind), but it was always a one-and-done experience. When Maverick flew off into the sunset with Kelly McGillis’s Charlie at the end, everyone got up and went home.
Yet here’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” arriving nearly four decades after the original. To be fair, the sequel, which sees the hero put in charge of a cadre of young pilots assigned a dangerous mission against a conveniently anonymous enemy, began production four years ago and was originally scheduled for a July 2019 premiere. Production delays and the arrival of the coronavirus pushed back the release date no less than five times; even Cruise is helpless against the massed forces of delta and omicron. Ironically, the delay has only heightened expectations, and a project that seemed like a punchline when it was announced in 2010 has bowled over preview audiences and early critics in blockbuster-starved 2022.
The delays also gave Cruise the apparent record by lengthening the time between original and sequel. There have been several instances of an actor returning late in life to a character they established earlier, and in almost every case the phenomenon arises from the combination of a star whose career longevity has achieved legendary (or at least near-legendary) proportions and a property that audiences might want to pay to see again. Is the motive always mercenary? I can think of only three examples where the urge for the swallows to return to Capistrano is predicated on genuine creative curiosity or at least random serendipity.
The class act in this category is Paul Newman chalking his pool cue again as “Fast Eddie” Felson in Martin Scorsese’s “The Color of Money” (1986), a quarter-century after “The Hustler” (1961). Newman’s Oscar win was especially sweet, given that he’d been nominated for best actor six times before — including for “The Hustler” and “Hud” and “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Verdict” — without taking the prize.
Money may have been the deciding factor in Marlon Brando taking on the role of Mafia don Carmine Sabatini in “The Freshman” (1990) 18 years after Vito Corleone in “The Godfather” (1972), but the movie itself, a wonderfully flaky comedy, hardly feels like a cash grab. Does this even count as a return appearance, because Brando’s character isn’t Vito Corleone but (supposedly) the man who inspired him? Feel free to argue, but “The Freshman” wouldn’t exist without “The Godfather,” and that’s that. (Coincidentally, 1990 also saw Brando’s one-time co-star Al Pacino return to his “Godfather” role in the “The Godfather Part III,” a movie that only proved lightning doesn’t strike thrice.)
Were audiences clamoring for Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in “Bill & Ted Face the Music” (2020) three decades after “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989) charmed teenage stoners everywhere? Not really, which is one reason the movie’s so funny. Usually when actors deign to return to a classic role, they arrive with star wattage weathered but undimmed by time; the chiseled Cruise of “Top Gun: Maverick” makes the flyboy of the first film look like he’s still working off his baby fat. Reeves and Winter just look … older, and the film keeps booting them down the line into various futures to worsening effect. It’s all oddly cheering, as if you or I had been called upon to reprise our high school play at the 30th reunion.
Otherwise, these overdue returns are a form of what we now call fan service, in which a nostalgic blockbuster enterprise is dusted off two or three decades later with the original stars bringing gravitas to the project — or at least audiences wanting to touch a known talisman from their pop culture past. Sylvester Stallone returned to “Rambo” (2008) 20 years after “Rambo III” (1988) and “Rocky Balboa” (2006) 21 years after “Rocky IV” (1985). Leonard Nimoy re-upped as Spock for the 2009 “Star Trek” reboot 20 years after the last Trek movie with the original cast. Sean Connery cried uncle and agreed to play James Bond one more time in the aptly titled “Never Say Never Again” (1983), 12 years after “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971).
Have you noticed anything missing here? Like, maybe, actresses? Aside from Linda Hamilton reprising her role as Sarah Connor in “Terminator: Dark Fate” (2019), 28 years after “Terminator 2,” the delayed return visit seems mostly a male phenomenon, for reasons that don’t reflect well on Hollywood or on audiences. In the classic studio era, Bette Davis played Queen Elizabeth I twice in 16 years (“The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex” in 1939 and “The Virgin Queen” in 1955), but only because as far as anyone was concerned she was Queen Elizabeth — regal, peremptory, eternal. Otherwise, it’s the depressing truth that male movie stars are allowed to age in popular culture but not their female counterparts.
If you doubt that, remember the online insults from callow fanboys that greeted the late Carrie Fisher’s General Leia Organa in “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens” (2015). The actress responded valiantly, tweeting “Please stop debating about whether or not I aged well. Unfortunately it hurts all three of my feelings,” but why would anyone want to submit themselves to that? Kelly McGillis, Cruise’s co-star in 1986, is 64 now and wasn’t asked to be in “Top Gun: Maverick,” and that’s fine by her. “I’m old, and I’m fat, and I look age-appropriate for what my age is,” McGillis cheerfully told reporters. (Jennifer Connelly, 51, plays the love interest in the new movie.)
The humanity and humor of Carrie Fisher
That said, the undisputed king of returning movie warriors has to be Harrison Ford, by dint of his starring in the two franchises that started the ball rolling in the first place. “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens” (2015) came out 32 years after Ford’s last appearance as Han Solo, in “Return of the Jedi” (1983), while “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008) appeared 19 years after “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989). And let’s not forget the 35 years between “Blade Runner” (1982) and “Blade Runner 2049” (2017).
If you’re counting from the character’s debut, Ford’s last major appearance in a Star Wars film came out 38 years after the first, which gives him the crown. And the star still isn’t done. There’s a new Indy movie, already shot but as yet untitled, in the can for release in June 2023. It will mark 42 years since Ford first appeared as Indiana Jones.
Take that, Tom Cruise.
Ty Burr is the author of the movie recommendation newsletter Ty Burr’s Watch List at tyburrswatchlist.substack.com .
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10 Behind-the-Scenes Facts You Might Not Know About ‘Top Gun: Maverick’
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“It’s not the plane, it’s the pilot.” When Miles Teller’s Rooster spits out that gem of a line toward the end of “Top Gun: Maverick,” the second-in-command action star certainly isn’t talking about Hollywood awards season. And yet, it’s an apt metaphor for the blockbuster Best Picture nominee and its spectacular ascent to Sunday’s Oscars.
A sequel to one of cinema’s most iconic fighter pilot movies was always flyable as a business idea: the metaphoric plane, if you will. But after the death of original “Top Gun” director Tony Scott — who passed in 2012 with his own unrealized vision of a follow-up in the works — recruiting the right people to pilot the tentpole for Paramount Pictures grew complicated. Not only did eventual director Joseph Kosinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer face the uphill battle of evolving a beloved property, but they also had to convince Cruise to come back as Maverick.
“We wanted to bring out a movie purely designed as entertainment,” said Bruckheimer in an interview with IndieWire . “It’s what I’ve been doing my whole career. Tom Cruise felt the same way: when entertaining audiences you hope to get the best story, characters, and scenes, and the best people behind and in front of the camera.”
As producer-star, Cruise was an essential linchpin from beginning to end: even vehemently advocating for a theatrical release when “Top Gun: Maverick” almost got relegated to Paramount+ . He’s not up for Best Actor this year, but Cruise could help collect the statuette for Best Picture should the fan-favorite win over “Avatar 2” and the category’s more traditional fare.
The crowd-pleasing sequel also received nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song (Lady Gaga and BloodPop’s “Hold My Hand”), Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Visual Effects. It won big at the box office too, with “The Fabelmans” director Steven Spielberg even quipping that it “saved Hollywood’s ass” at an Academy Awards luncheon in February.
It’s not the plane, it’s the pilot. Here are 10 behind-the-scenes facts to know about Best Picture contender “Top Gun: Maverick” before the 95th Academy Awards.
Check out 10 behind-the-scenes facts you might not know about “The Fabelmans” next.
The Flight Scenes Were Shot Around Real Navy Operations
To get A-lister/notorious daredevil Cruise onboard, Kosinski agreed to shoot “Top Gun: Maverick” using real jets. Cinematographer Claudio Miranda discussed the aerodynamic challenges of “Top Gun: Maverick” with IndieWire, and said, “Since my Navy technical guys had all seen the original ‘Top Gun,’ they got behind the idea of pulling out a lot of gear. We ended up fitting six cameras in the cockpit, including one that had about two-and-a-half inches clearance.”
During pre-production, Miranda and a small crew joined the USS Abraham Lincoln on a training mission. They captured jet take-offs and landings, as well as the flight deck and other ship details. Miranda consulted extensively with original “Top Gun” cinematographer Jeffrey L. Kimball to better understand the obstacles facing him aboard an aircraft carrier.
“Kimball had issues where he couldn’t turn his carrier around,” Miranda explained. “I found the right people to talk to, and they would just spin the boat around for me. It doesn’t cost them anything. To be super clear, we were shooting around their missions — they weren’t launching jets for us. And I couldn’t aim towards the sun. But we could turn it this way or that way to get our shots.”
Shooting High-Speed Jets Required Predicting Weather Up to 50 Miles Away
Not only did Miranda have to account for Navy scheduling and the extreme physics of flight, but he also had to contend with changing coastal weather. To get those flight sequences, Miranda had to set his camera exposures before takeoff, and hope they’d prove the right choice in the air.
“I had to guess what the weather was 50 miles down the road,” he said. “I would look to the east where they were flying and see some clouds and maybe open up a third. Then wait, hold on, they’re going away. Or are the jets going 50 feet down into a canyon? Then go with this exposure. I have to say, I didn’t miss.”
Miranda also needed three days to capture the shot of Maverick on his motorcycle, racing down the runway, because it was “too overcast.”
“We got one in the can,” the Academy Award winner said. “But we decided to go back. It had to be at a certain time of day so the jet crosses right through the sun.”
Another scene, in which Penny and Maverick go sailing, presented problems too when there wasn’t enough wind. Two attempts were made in San Diego and San Pedro, before the final version was captured in San Francisco.
“I was just sitting on the boat rocking with Tom,” Miranda laughed of the failed shoots. “The third time in San Francisco was great. I had one camera on the side of the boat in the front, I operated another camera on the boat next to them, and we had a helicopter as well… I was operating, and [Kosinski] was hanging onto the seat. It was a pretty massive day. We blew a spinnaker. We flooded the Libra head. We had the camera department running out panicking.”
The Darkstar Flyover Scene Was Shot Just Once and Destroyed a Set
In the scene where Maverick reaches Mach 10 in the Darkstar, he flies over Ed Harris’ Hammer right as he’s pulling up to the base gate. As the jet takes off, you can see the roof fly off the guard station: a perfect middle-finger moment that wasn’t planned. The stunt destroyed the set, and the only take Kosinski got is the one used in the film.
“That’s kind of the entire point of what we did,” VFX production designer Ryan Tudhope told IndieWire of the film’s largely practical approach. “If you look at the other pathway, with probably a group of really talented visual effects designers, who are creating all of the shots in the computer, it ends up lacking a little bit of the happy accidents because it’s overly designed.”
He continued, “There’s all kinds of pitfalls to going down that methodology. Whereas by the very nature of having a real pilot in a real jet being filmed by another real pilot and a real camera operator and another real jet…you end up with these beautiful imperfections.”
Val Kilmer Had the Idea for Iceman to Share His Illness
Val Kilmer’s Iceman is an intrinsic and unforgettable part of the original “Top Gun,” and a sequel wouldn’t have been the same without him. Kilmer has battled complications from throat cancer for some time, and it was the actor’s idea to have the character share his illness onscreen. An AI-generated voice was used for his dialogue, and was fed hours of old footage of Kilmer to capture his tone and speaking cadence.
“Obviously, the idea of Iceman being an important part of Maverick’s journey was something we all wanted, but didn’t know what Val’s health struggles were,” Kosinski told IndieWire. “This was five years ago, so this was before the documentary [‘Val’]. ”
Kosinski explained, “[Producer] Jerry [Bruckheimer] and I met with Val. He came over to Jerry’s office and we sat down with him and just told him of our desire to figure out a way to get Iceman into the film. It was Val who came up with the idea that Iceman was sick too, so he could integrate into the story in a way that felt authentic and not something that we were trying to hide. And then this notion of Iceman being a guardian angel for Maverick, from the moment they have that handshake at the end of the first film, this idea that Iceman would rise through the ranks as the ideal Navy officer, which he was.”
Tom Cruise Regularly Consulted on Sound
Doubling as producer and star, Cruise consulted heavily across “Top Gun: Maverick” but spent extra time sharing his insights on the mixing stage. Supervising sound editor James Mather, who also works with Cruise on the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, told IndieWire that the actor’s lived stunt experience played a critical role in shaping how they layered the sounds pilots hear — from their own breath to the clicking of joystick manipulation — with explosive jet engine booms.
“On this one, in particular, it was such a personal project for him,” said Mather. “The responsibility and the pressure, I guess, for the success of it was pretty heavy on his shoulders. And I think he came to see us every other day. He’d be training in the day doing jumps and motorbike stunts for ‘Mission: Impossible,’ and then he’d come and sit with us [to edit ‘Top Gun: Maverick’]. He can use his memory of what it was like in [the cockpit], and so there are probably certain nuances, sounds that for him were important that maybe he wants to focus on. When he hears or feels the sound, depending on the volume of it, he has to trigger the same response that reminds him of that experience at the time.”
There Were Multiple Versions of the Beginning and Ending
Though the flight sequences were undeniably challenging, both Kosinski and Miranda told IndieWire another proved more difficult to get. The opening scene in Penny’s bar was filmed twice to establish a stronger relationship between Cruise and Jennifer Connelly’s characters.
“[Joseph Kosinski] wanted a little bit more history between Penny and Maverick,” Miranda explained. “I wasn’t happy about my lighting on the first one. Instead of a bar packed with extras, for the second we could take people away. That let me use a little more side light and move it differently.”
The ending was shot multiple times as well. In the final version, Maverick returns to his desert hangar and is joined by Rooster, Penny, and Amelia.
“I actually shot a version where Phoenix was there too, and Phoenix is talking to Amelia about airplanes, and they’re looking at plane models and having this nice moment together,” Kosinski told IndieWire . “We had versions where Hondo [Bashir Salahuddin] was there, so it was more like a big family. At the end, we narrowed it down to just Rooster and Amelia.”
He continued, “At first, Maverick goes to the bar and Penny’s [Connolly] not there, which was a scene we played with both in and out [of the film]. I’m so glad we put it in, because it’s a great way to reveal Penny at the end of the film with Maverick. It just felt like the right ending. We open the film in the hangar and Maverick is alone, and we end with him in the hangar and he’s surrounded by family, a new family. That’s the journey we wanted to take Maverick on.”
Glen Powell Injured Himself Playing Football
Asked about his most memorable day on-set at the Critics’ Choice Awards, Kosinski told IndieWire , “One that I get asked about a lot, which was a very memorable day, was when we shot the beach football scene,” Kosinski said. The fan-favorite scene is an homage to the original’s campy beach volleyball sequence.
“The actors were in a very kind of stressed out state, they’d all been working so hard to get ready for that scene,” he continued. “They were under pressure, the weight of the original scene being so iconic. I remember Glen went out 110 percent on the first play and hurt himself, but he was able to recover quickly and we were able to get a great version of it.”
The football scene was also reportedly shot twice at Cruise’s insistence. Powell was also in the running for Rooster (Miles Teller’s part), before getting cast as cocky fighter pilot, Hangman.
Miles Teller Got Sick from Jet Fuel in His Bloodstream
“Top Gun: Maverick” was so intense to shoot that Glen Powell told IndieWire he left out certain details about his training and filming out when talking to his mom. But it was Miles Teller’s family who were given serious reason to worry when the film’s second-lead suffered from blood poisoning after a flight.
“We landed, and I thought, ‘Man, I’m not feeling too good,’” Teller revealed on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” in June 2022. “I was really hot and I just started itching like crazy. So I got out of the jet. I’m just covered in hives. Head to toe. I go to a doctor. I do a blood analysis. I’m in an oatmeal bath that night. I have sensitive skin anyway, truth be told, Irish-Scottish skin. No dyes, no nothing.”
Teller continued, “I go to set the next day and Tom‘s like, ‘How did it go Miles? What did they find?’” Teller continued. “I was like, ‘Well, Tom, it turns out I have jet fuel in my blood.’ And without even skipping a beat Tom goes ‘Yeah, I was born with it, kid. So that was a very Tom moment for me.”
Joseph Kosinski Claims the Unnamed Enemy to the U.S. Was… Canada?
“The answer is it’s Canada,” Kosinski joked with IndieWire, when asked about the film’s unnamed foreign adversary. “We didn’t want to make this a movie about geopolitics. It’s a competition film. It’s a film about friendship, about sacrifice. It’s a rite-of-passage story. It’s all those things. It’s not a movie about the current state of world events which, by the way, have changed so much from when we made the film. If we had even decided [a country when we made it], it probably would’ve been outdated. The idea was always to make the enemy faceless and nameless.”
The director continued, “That’s why in designing this third act, I put it in a world that was not identifiable as, I think, any of the places people are guessing. I liked the idea of putting it in a snowy region, so we shot it in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state to also invert the ‘Top Gun’ aesthetic, to get away from the San Diego sunsets and flip it on its head. To me, that was an exciting way to really change the feeling of the film and make it feel like we were somewhere far away. I know people look at the F-14 [enemy fighter jets] or the fifth-generation fighter jets or the landscape and try to piece it together, but it really is nowhere.”
Test Audiences Didn’t Have to See “Top Gun” to Love Its Sequel
In the same interview with IndieWire , Kosinski said he was relieved to learn audiences unfamiliar with the 1986 original were as onboard with its decades-in-the-making sequel as longterm fans.
“We did a little bit of audience testing,” he said. “What was a surprise to us was, whether or not you had seen the first film, people were rating the film exactly the same. There was no difference between ‘Top Gun’ fans and non-‘Top Gun’ fans. I could have never anticipated that, but I do think people could potentially get more out of it if they’ve seen the first film.”
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Tom Cruise Gets Sweet 60th Birthday Message from 'Top Gun' Costar Val Kilmer: 'Happy Birthday Mav'
Tom Cruise's Top Gun: Maverick costars Val Kilmer and Glen Powell raised a virtual toast to Cruise in honor of his milestone 60th birthday over the weekend
Tom Cruise rang in his 60th birthday with a special birthday wish from his best wingman.
Val Kilmer — who starred as Top "Iceman" Kazansky to Cruise's Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in 1986's Top Gun and reprised his role in the recently released Top Gun: Maverick — posted a sweet message to Cruise on Sunday as the actor celebrated his latest age milestone.
"Happy Birthday Mav @TomCruise from Ice!" tweeted Kilmer, 62, referencing their iconic characters' call signs.
Among Cruise's other Maverick costars to wish him many happy returns on social media was Glen Powell , who shared a snapshot of the daredevil actor hanging off the side of a plane .
"This is 60," wrote Powell, 33. "TC, there is just no one like you. Keep hangin' in there. Happy Birthday! @TomCruise ."
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True to his love of action, Cruise himself spent part of his birthday weekend in attendance at the British F1 Grand Prix on Sunday.
The actor was seen flashing a big smile while greeting fans and rubbing shoulders with other VIP attendees.
Other familiar faces in attendance at the event included Gordon Ramsay , Geri Halliwell and Lewis Hamilton .
RELATED VIDEO: Top Gun: Maverick Stars Tom Cruise , Jon Hamm, Miles Teller and More on Filming the "Love Letter to Aviation"
Meanwhile, Top Gun: Maverick passed the $1 billion mark at the global box office over the weekend of June 25, according to Variety . It became the first of Cruise's films to reach the rare milestone, with his next-highest global earner being 2018's Mission: Impossible – Fallout , which made $791.1 million.
Cruise was thrilled to have Kilmer return for the sequel. "I've always admired his work, his talent," Cruise told PEOPLE in May, adding, "We get together ... we just start laughing. It was special to have him back. It meant a lot to me."
For Kilmer, becoming Iceman once again was "like being reunited with a long-lost friend." Even after more than 30 years, he told PEOPLE, "the characters never really go away. They live on in deep freeze. If you'll pardon the pun."
Top Gun: Maverick is now playing in theaters.
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How Old Is Tom Cruise's Maverick in Top Gun: Maverick?
Maverick's age plays a surprisingly large role in both the original Top Gun and its blockbuster sequel. The producers went with the simplest answer.
The success of Top Gun: Maverick runs headlong against a number of Hollywood conventions, not the least of which is the age of its star. The perennially boyish Tom Cruise is currently in his sixties: well past the age of expiration for most action movie heroes. Yet, not only does he make it work, but Maverick fits the paradox into its story, as Cruise's Pete Mitchell remains an active captain when his peers have gone on to senior command positions . It helped the film become a colossal critical and commercial hit .
It does beggar the question of Maverick's age, however. The new movie doesn't specify how old he is, nor does the old one. The most agreed-upon answer is both simpler and more complicated than it appears. The short version is that he shares a birth year with the actor playing him. But that also encompasses a key part of his background , as well as the two movies' respective plots.
RELATED: Top Gun: Maverick Director Reacts to Steven Spielberg's Shock Compliment
Maverick's Age Plays into Top Gun's Story
The original Top Gun reveals one of Maverick's biggest character motivations: unresolved issues surrounding his father. His dad was a combat pilot in Vietnam, shot down under classified circumstances that leave him with a sullied name. Late in the film, Maverick's mentor Viper confirms that the senior Mitchell died a hero, which lets Maverick put his father's memory to rest. That also means that Maverick needs to be old enough to remember his father, but young enough to have few lasting memories of him. That would put his birth year somewhere close to the start of the Vietnam War, but before his father shipped out.
His age also matters in terms of the Top Gun program that he attends. Navy pilots need a four-year college degree, plus specialized training in order to become pilots. According to a 2022 article in Skies Magazine , the real-world TOPGUN school's pilots often apply after their first tour of duty, which typically lasts six months. That likely puts Maverick in his mid-twenties when the events of the film take place, which roughly matches the timeline regarding his father.
That comes into play in the sequel as well. At a certain point, age catches up to fighter pilots, whose job often entails considerable physical strain and requires razor-sharp reflexes. Yet, Maverick is still at the job in Top Gun: Maverick -- largely by piloting experimental planes -- well past the age where either promotion or retirement should have caught up with him. Both movies presume a contemporary setting, putting 2022's Maverick 36 years after 1986's Top Gun .
RELATED: Top Gun: Maverick's Jennifer Connelly Hid Her Fear of Flying From Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise Fits the Age in Top Gun: Maverick
Fitting Maverick into the needs of both movies -- and his own backstory with his father -- is key to the character's development. It gives him an organic history, as well as a few demons to overcome, which has helped make the two Top Gun films more than just empty pinball games. While the movies are purely fiction, Maverick's age does loosely correspond to the real-world requirements for someone in his position. Cruise's own physical fitness and current status as an action star make it easier to believe that Maverick might stay in the pilot's seat all these years, and Maverick is clear that his superiors think he's decades past the time to be put out to seed.
After all that, with the needs of the character and the film's respective plots in the forefront, the best answer is still the easiest. Cruise was born in 1962, which is the ideal fit for Maverick's timeline . It would put the loss of his father sometime between the age of 3 and 13. This would also make him 24 during his first stint in Top Gun school, and just tickling 60 during the events of Top Gun: Maverick . Both films were written with Cruise in mind, and have added his age to the character's story accordingly.
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Top gun: maverick, common sense media reviewers.
Tamer sequel to '80s fave has peril, cursing, solid message.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Strong theme of second chances and redemption. Ski
Maverick has grown from his mistakes and teaches a
Racial and gender diversity among Navy personnel.
Intense moments of peril during dangerous flight m
Romance. A clothed couple makes intense eye contac
Strong language includes "d--khead," "hell," "s--t
Some brands are presented as aspirational, includi
Hanging out and drinking at a bar is shown to be f
Parents need to know that Top Gun: Maverick is the long-awaited sequel to '80s favorite Top Gun. Expect frequent intense peril and aerial combat, but kills aren't bloody, and you can see someone ejecting with a parachute after their plane is hit. Time has made Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Tom…
Strong theme of second chances and redemption. Skill and instinct are a result of a thorough knowledge of the material plus training, practice, and learning from those with experience.
Positive Role Models
Maverick has grown from his mistakes and teaches a new generation to avoid prideful errors. He's willing to sacrifice his own reputation and status to do what he feels is right. He still defies authority, but usually with a purpose -- for the betterment of his colleagues. Several young fighter pilots are aspirational in their skill level and camaraderie, especially Phoenix, who holds her own (and then some) against the male pilots.
Racial and gender diversity among Navy personnel. The one female fighter pilot in the training group, a Latina woman (Monica Barbaro), is razzed about her gender by a male classmate but doesn't take it and proves she's just as capable as (or more capable than) her male colleagues.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Intense moments of peril during dangerous flight missions and training sessions. Aerial combat, including planes being shot down and blowing up.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Romance. A clothed couple makes intense eye contact while one is positioned above the other, who's lying on her back; in the next scene, they're talking and laughing while he's in bed shirtless and she's clothed, implying that they had sex. Kissing. Men are shirtless while playing sports.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.
Strong language includes "d--khead," "hell," "s--t," and one instance of "what the f--k."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.
Products & Purchases
Some brands are presented as aspirational, including a Ford Bronco and a Porsche. Additionally, Budweiser and Sailor Jerry rum are featured in a bar.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Hanging out and drinking at a bar is shown to be fun, cool, and a way to build relationships with others.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Top Gun: Maverick is the long-awaited sequel to '80s favorite Top Gun . Expect frequent intense peril and aerial combat, but kills aren't bloody, and you can see someone ejecting with a parachute after their plane is hit. Time has made Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell ( Tom Cruise ) more responsible, but he still sometimes can't help defying authority. And while many '80s teens likely saw his character as proof that cocky was cool and winning was everything, now Mav teaches his aviator students that knowledge and preparation hone the instincts they need for successful outcomes. He also passes on a moral code: Never leave your wingman. Mav's romance with Penny ( Jennifer Connelly ) is tame: A brief scene implies sex, but she's always shown fully clothed. As is the Top Gun way, the shirtlessness is reserved for men enjoying sandy sports together. Language is mostly "s--t," but there's one use of "d--khead" and a "what the f--k." It's possible to follow the movie's story as a standalone, but it will be far more meaningful if you've seen the first film -- and it will drive home the message that growth and change of perspective come with life experience. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .
Where to Watch
Videos and photos.
- Parents say (46)
- Kids say (128)
Based on 46 parent reviews
From a Navy fighter pilot - AMAZING. Absolute must-see.
Feel good action film, what's the story.
In TOP GUN: MAVERICK, Tom Cruise reprises his role as Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, who's found his niche in the Navy as a test pilot, pushing the limits of new aircraft. When his friend and former rival Adm. Tom "Iceman" Kazansky ( Val Kilmer ) reassigns Maverick to train a new group of Top Gun graduates for a special high-risk mission, he must return to Miramar. But when he learns that the class includes Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw ( Miles Teller ), the son of Maverick's late best friend, Goose, he must find a way to resolve the past -- for the sake of Rooster's future.
Is It Any Good?
Compared to the original, this sequel is 70% less sweaty, 85% less sexy, and 90% more tween appropriate. Top Gun: Maverick is a tale of redemption both for Maverick and for the original film. Top Gun is a piece of classic cinema, one of the most significant films of the 1980s. But it projected hyper masculinity as aspirational, arrogance as cool, and the idea that rules are for losers. The fact that Maverick's recklessness cost his best friend his life was lost in the excitement of the Danger Zone and the camaraderie of volleyball on the beach and serenading bar beauties.
Top Gun: Maverick remedies this -- so much so that it's actually a really great idea to watch them as a double feature with teens and tweens. In the sequel, the perspective is flipped, with the class of swaggering fighter pilots shown from the instructor's point of view. They're not ready, they're overly confident, and it's clear that they need structure and guidance. Still shattered from Goose's death all these years later and afraid that Goose's son, Bradley (Teller), could lose his life the same way, Maverick has to teach the young guns how to take risks in the most risk-averse way. The movie's romance no longer has an uneven power dynamic (ahem, dating the teacher), either: Maverick's love interest, Penny ( Jennifer Connelly ), is the same age and has her own, separate career -- and things between them get about as sexy as a starched collar. Where viewers are likely to feel the intensity is in the aerial combat, which is notably more breathtaking and includes stunning action sequences. Cruise is known for insisting on authenticity by performing stunts himself, and he and the other actors really fly these planes. That helps make the film more immersive. Many former '80s teens have fond memories of watching Top Gun with their parents. Top Gun: Maverick is made for that experience to continue.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about "trusting your gut." What does that mean, and how can you cultivate an instinct?
What does Maverick mean when he says that being a pilot "is not what I am, it's who I am." Are you so passionate about anything that it feels like part of your personality?
In both films, Top Gun classmates have a rivalry. How can competition be used to help push you to be your best, and when can it be unhealthy?
What is the purpose of a sequel? How does Top Gun: Maverick complete the journey of Capt. Pete Mitchell? What characters from other movies would you like to check in on 30 years later?
How do characters demonstrate courage and humility ?
- In theaters : May 27, 2022
- On DVD or streaming : August 23, 2022
- Cast : Tom Cruise , Jennifer Connelly , Miles Teller , Val Kilmer
- Director : Joseph Kosinski
- Studio : Paramount Pictures
- Genre : Action/Adventure
- Topics : Friendship
- Character Strengths : Courage , Humility
- Run time : 131 minutes
- MPAA rating : PG-13
- MPAA explanation : sequences of intense action, and some strong language
- Awards : Academy Award , Common Sense Selection
- Last updated : March 13, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
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The Golden Age of the Aging Actor
Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ isn’t the exception—he’s the rule. There’s long been anecdotal evidence that top-line actors and actresses are getting older. Now, The Ringer has the data to back it up.
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Like its predecessor, Top Gun: Maverick is a movie about sweaty beach sports , awkward sex scenes , and dogfights with enemies of uncertain national origin . More so than the original, though, it’s also about aging. Maverick, a trainee in Top Gun , is now an instructor, regarded as a fossil, an old-timer, the last of his kind. Tethered to the past, he’s told that he’s going to get grounded as the guard changes not just to the next generation of pilots, but to uncrewed drones. He teaches his students that “Time is your greatest enemy,” a lesson hammered home by his old frenemy Iceman’s struggle with cancer. “It’s time to let go,” Iceman informs him. “I don’t know how,” Maverick replies.
All of this seems to make the movie a metaphor for film stardom. Tom Cruise, who first played Maverick when he was 23 and reprises the role in his late 50s, is a household name who hails from an era when there was such a thing, and when people, not IPs, were the biggest box-office attractions; he’s “Hollywood’s Last Real Movie Star,” as a recent New York Times feature dubbed him, or “The Last Action Hero,” as Ringer contributor Noah Gittell did . It may be true that Cruise’s kind of big-screen (or any -screen) star is “headed to extinction,” to borrow a phrase from Maverick’s boss, rear admiral Chester Cain (Ed Harris). But even if, as Cain says, “the end is inevitable,” Hollywood hasn’t let go of aging actors just yet. In fact, it’s clinging ever more tightly to them.
In the past 20 years—and particularly the last 10 to 15—the average age of actors appearing toward the top of the bill in film and TV projects has risen significantly. Whereas the star, or the top two or three stars, of the typical movie or TV series released in the closing decades of the 20th century was typically in their late 30s—several years older than the median age of the United States population at the time—today’s average actor age has reached the mid-40s and is steadily climbing toward 50. Actors who became fixtures on big screens and small in previous decades haven’t given way to new blood as quickly as was once customary. As a result, Hollywood’s leading men and women of today bear a strong resemblance to the leading men and women from the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s after a trip to the beach from Old —except, of course, for the fact that actors like Cruise (who’ll turn 60 next week) don’t always look their age. The graying of actors—the ones with their natural hair colors, at least—appears to be the product of a confluence of factors that reflect the fracturing of culture in the post-monoculture age, the industry’s gravitation toward franchises and sequels, shifts in audience demographics, efforts to promote more inclusive casting, and a growing range of options for maintaining a more youthful appearance.
Top Gun: Maverick features 50-somethings Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, and Jon Hamm; 62-year-old Val Kilmer; and 71-year-old Ed Harris. The movie also makes space for a smattering of 30-somethings, led by Miles Teller, Glen Powell, and Jay Ellis (who turned 40 after filming finished), but the oldsters are the stars. Audiences have happily turned out to see them: The movie opened big at the box office over Memorial Day weekend, and its appeal has proved resilient in subsequent weeks. The movie has surpassed a cumulative gross of $500 million domestically and $1 billion worldwide, and although COVID concerns kept many older film watchers away from theaters during the peak of the pandemic, 55 percent of people who bought tickets to Top Gun in its opening weekend were over 35.
In this era, the average age of Top Gun ’s top two actors hardly stands out. Consider the duos associated with other recent, high-profile releases such as Coming 2 America (Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall) or Only Murders in the Building (Steve Martin and Martin Short); the aged (and sometimes digitally de-aged) ensembles of The Irishman or the just-concluded Grace and Frankie ; or the leads of Star Trek: Picard (Patrick Stewart) or Hacks (Jean Smart). The Taylor Sheridanverse that’s taking over TV features lead actors who range from their 50s to their late 70s: Kevin Costner, Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, Jeremy Renner. Heck, an increasing percentage of movies have had “Old” in their titles: Not only Old , but also All of the Old Knives , The Old Way , and Old Henry , just since the start of 2021. On TV, there’s the almost too on-the-nose The Old Man , the new FX/Hulu series featuring 72-year-old Jeff Bridges and 76-year-old John Lithgow.
Granted, aged actors gracing the screen is not a new phenomenon, and neither is naming movies and TV shows with the word “Old.” (Old Yeller was only five years old , but the Grumpy —and Grumpier —Old Men were getting up there.) However, our analysis of IMDb data shows that this apparent aging of actors isn’t just anecdotal. The graph below displays the average age (at time of release) of the top-listed actor, top two listed actors, and top three listed actors in movies produced since 1980 that have garnered at least 1,000 IMDb user ratings (a really low bar cleared by 3,000 to 4,000 movies per year worldwide, including streaming releases).
The same pattern appears in all three, as it does if we focus on more exclusive samples of movies with at least 10,000 IMDB user ratings (roughly 200 titles per year) …
… or non-animated movies released in theaters …
… or non-animated movies that made at least $10 million at the box office …
… or the top-grossing movie of each year.
As the average age of actors with prominent parts has soared, the fraction of movies in which at least one of the top two listed actors is over 60, and the fraction in which at least one is under 30, have correspondingly increased and declined, respectively:
And while the aging of male action stars—the Cruises, Craigs, Keanus, Neesons, and Stallones—is among the most visible manifestations of the trend, it seems to span multiple genres.
Recent releases have more missing birthdates on IMDb, as do younger actors, but that can’t skew the stats enough to account for these visuals. Essentially, actors who rose to prominence in past decades have yet to retire or be vaudeville hooked out of the frame, and the youngsters and understudies who might have been expected to succeed them haven’t really arrived the way their predecessors did. The chart below, a kind of aging curve for actors, shows how prolific actors born in each of the 20th century’s five 20-year buckets collectively were as they aged. The most recent cohort, which would be in its early 20s to early 40s now, is on a much less productive trajectory than the generations born between 1940 and 1960 or between 1960 and 1980. (For reference, there are more movies made than ever now, across all platforms and even after limiting to 1,000 or more IMDb ratings, though there’s been a decrease in theatrical releases over the past decade, which began prior to the pandemic.)
The top two actors from the top-grossing movie of each year of the 1990s went on to appear in 185 movies from 2000 to 2009, and 129 from 2010 to 2019. The top two actors from the top-grossing movie of the 2000s went on to make only 101 movies from 2010 to 2019. So not only did the ’90s stars nearly double the next-decade output of the 2000s stars, but the ’90s stars were still more active two decades after their box-office heydays than the 2000s stars were one decade later. “There’s just greater longevity, frankly, of the people who are acting,” says Bruce Nash, founder of movie-industry database The Numbers . The most bankable actors, per his site’s current ranking , are Robert Downey Jr. and Sandra Bullock, both 57. But which is driving the trend: movie stars, or the movie business? Not to quash the suspense, but you know the drill: The answer is always “a bit of both.”
Ask industry sources, and you’ll get little pushback on the finding that lead actors, on average, are older than they used to be. (And not just in the sense that everyone who’s still living is older than they once were.) “People in Hollywood talk about this all the time,” says Matthew Belloni, founding partner and entertainment reporter at Puck (and host of Ringer show-business podcast The Town ). Nash adds, “It does certainly feel as though we do have that trend.” Casting director Mike Page confirms, “It definitely does track.” And Joshua Lynn, president of Piedmont Media Research , says, “It’s definitely true, you see the same names now that you did 15-to-20-plus years ago on the list of bankable stars.” The question is why this has happened—and on that topic, you’re liable to hear a range of responses.
One common hypothesis pins the blame for younger actors’ failure to reach the same heights of bankability on the decline of the monoculture. “The fracturization of the culture means it’s much more difficult to launch stars,” says Belloni. “You look at what’s going on with the Top Gun guys right now. In a previous generation, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, maybe Jay Ellis, those guys would all be stars that could be the center of their own movie now. But now, not really.” (Unless, that is, it’s a Marvel movie—but we’ll get to that.) As Page puts it, “It’s harder to establish these megastars now, because so few people are viewing the exact same content.”
In other words, actors of Cruise’s vintage, who came of age as actors and celebrities in a pre-internet age with fewer entertainment options and less siloed media diets, attained a level of cultural penetration that would be far more difficult for any actor to replicate now. Members of that generation who built their public profiles in a more fame-friendly era may be better positioned to cut through the static of competing people and products than those who didn’t debut or break big early enough to establish that foothold. Consequently, the former may be more able—or perceived as more able—to attract an audience on the strength of their reputation, which would make them more in demand. “You’ll keep seeing the same names over and over, because they happened to exist at a time when ‘movie stars’ were a more important thing to our culture than they are now,” Lynn says. Whether you noticed or not, Neeson has pumped out 24 action movies since starring in Taken in 2008, when he was 55. Another ’90s star, Adam Sandler, has made 22 non-animated movies since the start of 2008—including more comedies than he had in his whole career up to that point—most of which were part of lucrative Netflix deals .
Some sources suggest that somewhat paradoxically, the greater ease of access to celebrities today may diminish their movie-star cred. Jeff Bock, senior media analyst for Exhibitor Relations Co. , says, “Part of the mystique of being a larger-than-life movie star resides in the exclusivity of engagement with audiences. … Even though fans have more access [to younger stars], oftentimes it diminishes that unique bond one forms with consumers.” Belloni echoes that sentiment. “We can see Miles Teller all over his wife’s Instagram every day. And we can see him tweeting about the Phillies, and we can see him in all the paparazzi shots and on our TikTok feeds. And there’s nothing special about seeing Miles Teller in a movie anymore. Whereas … there [were] only a couple places to see Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Tom Cruise … or any of these guys that are considered action stars still today.” The social-media-driven “commoditization of actors,” Belloni believes, has “really, really diminished the ability to create new stars.”
Perhaps that’s partly because the current up-and-comers who might be movie-star material are less likely to inspire, or even aspire to inspire, the same sort of fandom as stars in previous eras. “There is a rising generation—more than one, really—of entertainment consumers that isn’t as committed to narrative entertainment as the generations before them,” says film historian and author Mark Harris . “Maybe they’re gamers, or maybe what they really enjoy is TikTok, or maybe it’s something else, but a generation can’t generate stars if it doesn’t really love the medium that creates and accommodates stars.” At the very least, the strain of stardom that newer media spawns may not look like yesterday’s flavor; the modern model may be closer to Kardashian than Cruise.
Even so, some actors still covet Cruise-ian cachet. (Per the Times , Powell told Cruise, “I’m trying to be you.”) They may just lack the avenues to achieve it, thanks to what Nash identifies as a “gap between the regular movies and the big blockbusters,” the latter of which are dwindling in number The remaining few, he adds, “come in, increasingly, the same mold. Really, what you’re seeing are superhero movies, [and] there’s not a lot of opportunity for people to become superhero movie stars.”
That increasing emphasis on franchise-based blockbusters has come at the expense of some of the old pathways to prominence. “There [are fewer] studio movies now than ever before, and the indie movie scene is pretty small and not as significant to Hollywood as it used to be, which allowed exciting new faces/voices into the mix,” Lynn says, adding, “There are just [fewer] opportunities for new people to suddenly emerge and lead a major film and then become stars, leading to more opportunities to lead other films subsequently.” To return to Teller: “In a previous generation, he would have the opportunity to do a mid-budget studio thriller, rom-com, something that would test his allure as a movie star and the ability to open a movie,” Belloni says. “And those movies are just not happening.”
Now, Lynn says, there are at most three routes to traditional movie stardom. You can rise from obscurity to star in a film from a respected studio director who became a big name in the ’80s or ’90s; you can earn critical acclaim from a series of smaller movies and then make the leap to Marvel, Star Wars , or another sci-fi tentpole; or you can cross over from a huge hit on TV, though it’s getting harder to have a Game of Thrones – or Stranger Things –level smash as streaming segmentation intensifies. Oscar Isaac, the Chrises , and Adam Driver, all now in their late 30s or early 40s, needed boosts from major genre movies to reach a new stardom stratosphere. As those movies make up a bigger proportion of the thinner studio release schedule, Lynn says, “You see the same people over and over again in those movies playing the same parts.”
Film data researcher Stephen Follows, who has also observed a 21st-century trend toward older actors, suspects that the thirst for reboots and sequels accounts for some of the aging trend, because recycling material leads to recycling stars. “It’s about films having the same people in them, and people sticking around for longer,” he says. “And therefore, by definition, they’re aging one year a year.” (Cruise, for instance, appears almost exclusively in sequels these days.) F. Andrew Hanssen, an economics professor at Clemson who detected early signs of a widespread aging of actors in a study published a decade ago, notes that whereas during the days of the studio system, studios would spend substantial sums on building up new stars, “The trend of paying large sums of money to relatively unknown actors to appear in a series of films (as Captain America, say)” may have “created an ‘anti-studio’ situation, in which the incentive to develop new actors except in this narrow capacity has become even weaker.”
Of course, the explosion in sequels, prequels, reboots, and remakes—not only in movies, but in other media, giving rise to what researcher Adam Mastroianni has labeled a “ pop oligopoly ”—stems in part from the fretting about breaking through in a crowded culture, which leads studios to default to the same old names. “The name above the poster is a rarity these days, and because the cost to green-light a blockbuster is an enormous risk for studios, these companies often lean on what has worked previously—sequels and big stars,” says Bock. Last month, Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer said as much, remarking , “I still get the same list of 10 men the studios want in a movie. You still get Tom, Leonardo [DiCaprio]. Get one of these big names and you’ve got a good shot at getting a movie made.” Asked for other names, he listed Brad Pitt, who at 58 just related that he’s on the “last leg” of his career; pressed for someone who wasn’t famous last century, he allowed that Hemsworth has “broken through.”
Which isn’t to say that things have to work that way. “Bruckheimer is not wrong in that there are a limited number of actors who can ‘carry’ a movie,” Belloni says. “But I think Hollywood is a little bit to blame here for being risk-averse and not trying certain actors in these roles. … A lot of it is fear that there is such a splintered culture.” Follows also attributes part of the aging effect to “the risk-averse nature of the people commissioning” blockbusters, though he notes that the evidence of actor aging even outside of theatrical releases from major studios “does suggest that it is more of a cultural trend than just the conscious or unconscious decision of 20 people.”
What else could be contributing to that cultural trend? For one thing, this situation isn’t the inverse of Wooderson’s line from Dazed and Confused , in which the actors get older while the audience stays the same age. The audience is getting older also, along with the U.S. population, whose median age is up 8.5 years since 1980. Consequently, catering to middle-aged spectators and senior citizens is more rewarding for the makers of movies and TV. “Older audiences are fueling moviegoing right now,” Belloni says. In 2019 , people 60 or older accounted for more tickets sold than any other age group except 25 to 39. And as younger viewers cut the cord and churn through streaming services , cable-connected and deeper-pocketed viewers are making their preferences felt on TV, too.
“You do have to target the older audiences, because they are the ones that are still paying,” Page says, adding, “They’re probably looking more for content and lead characters, lead actors, that are relevant and reflect their lives and experience.” Although Follows has found that the impact of actor age on audience turnout may be overrated, the perception of a link influences studios. “I probably would be more inclined to see Liam Neeson in an action movie, given my age, than Tom Holland,” says Nash, who’s 54. “You see that in romantic comedies as well. It’s not people in their early 20s anymore. It’s people in their 40s, sometimes, and the second chances at romance, and so on, tends to be a little bit more the prevailing force.”
Older characters require older actors—and like Cruise, those actors may seem to defy the ticking clock that Maverick warned about, especially compared to the chain-smoking stars of old (and old-looking) Hollywood. “Actors look young for longer, thanks to advances in exercise and diet (not to mention cosmetic surgery), and can credibly play action heroes or romantic leads at older ages than in the past,” Hanssen says. ( Physique-enhancing drugs may play a part, too.) Plus, there’s always the option of airbrushing. “Between both modern medicine and what they can do with digital makeup and things like that in post, you can have stars that are aging out, but you still pretend that they’re age appropriate,” Belloni says. And an aging audience might have an evolving definition of “appropriate.” Page points to a “societal expansion of what sexy is, what vitality is, and getting to see that there’s not necessarily an expiration date at 50, at 60, at 70.” (Which is the theme of Good Luck to You, Leo Grande , a movie released last week that stars the 63-year-old Emma Thompson and includes a much - discussed nude scene.)
Actors aren’t alone here: By historical standards, today’s top politicians , top touring musicians , top tennis players , and top quarterbacks are ancient too. It’s the era of presidential runs by Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders; pricey, sold-out concerts by Paul McCartney, Elton John, and the Rolling Stones; unprecedented title totals by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic; one-two MVP finishes by Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady . Just as new racket strings and slower playing surfaces have helped venerable tennis stars stay at a higher level for longer—and, for that matter, as improvements in manufacturing have kept cars on the road for record durations —tuneups to actors’ exteriors have helped them stay on screens and win Oscars at more advanced ages. Jessica Daniels , a Casting Society of America board member and the VP of casting for Walt Disney Television, says, “60 years old now doesn’t look like 60 years old did 20 or 30 years ago, and people are living longer, and so just by virtue of that, I think that we’re all adapting.”
Another factor fueling that change is anti-ageism advocacy by organizations such as the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Although in theory the extended tenures of legacy stars could prevent a group of more diverse actors from seizing the spotlight, studies show sweeping improvements in representation, at least in front of the camera. “It feels like the industry is … moving in the right direction as far as diversification in many areas, and I think age is one of those,” Page says. Historically, female actors have faced severe age discrimination , and that problem persists; Bruckheimer, when asked to list female counterparts to his bankable Brads, Toms, and Leos, said, “Women are harder. It’s just not that strong a list yet.” However, the trend toward older actors holds true for both men and women, and the age gap between them has seemingly started to shrink (though Top Gun costar Kelly McGillis attributed her absence from the sequel to her age and appearance).
“I definitely think, specifically in television, we are breaking a lot more barriers,” Daniel says. “I think that there is so much more room for not only a diversity and inclusivity of experience, but I do think that there’s an audience that does want to see not only beloved actors that we’ve loved for years, but also just wants to see this experience, wants to see these stories being told.” Although the lines on that graph aren’t close to converging, Nash notes that there’s “not necessarily so much of a bias as there might once have been.”
For the foreseeable future, those “average age” lines may continue their ascent. “With YouTube getting more interest among kids than the state of the Academy Awards, and with streaming fracturing the landscape as we speak even further, I honestly don’t see that changing anytime soon,” Lynn says. The question confronting Hollywood seems similar to the question confronting the ATP Tour as Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic finally age out : Who’s next? “Beyond [Timothée] Chalamet, Holland, and Zendaya, name a movie star under 30.” Belloni says. “It’s tough.” Letitia Wright, Florence Pugh, Hailee Steinfeld, and (soon) Sydney Sweeney may make the most of their Marvel exposure, but in the absence of a deep pool of marquee talent, Page says, “Everybody clamors for the short list of the recognizable names.” Al Pacino anointed Chalamet as his pick to play Vincent Hanna in a potential Heat 2 , and Sony sold Uncharted to audiences using Holland’s post-Spider-Man star power, even though his older costar, Mark Wahlberg, was the one whose name helped get the movie made. (Wahlberg, now a fanatically buff 51, embodied the older-actors hegemony when in 2012 he replaced the 15-years-younger Shia LaBeouf as the face of Transformers .) But Holland and the Dune duo can act only so much.
Cary Grant, who retired at 62, supposedly said , “Hollywood is very much like a streetcar. Once a new star is made and comes aboard, an old one is edged out of the rear exit. There’s room for only so many and no more.” But what if the old stars won’t relinquish their status until they’re elderly enough for riders in real life to offer them seats? The star of Top Gun: Maverick has two more Mission Impossible movies on the way, but Chester Cain wasn’t wrong; Cruise can’t act forever, and by the time that second flick comes out, he’ll be pushing 62 himself. “There is not going to be another Tom Cruise,” Belloni says. “That era is over.” But the era of old actors has no end in sight.
Rob Arthur is a Chicago-based freelance journalist and data science consultant.
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American actor Tom Cruise on the set of Top Gun, directed by Tony Scott. (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Top Gun (1986) cast ages: How old was the cast then (and now)?
We’re all so obsessed with 1986 film Top Gun starring Tom Cruise, and it was so amazing to get a sequel, Top Gun: Maverick , in 2022! When the production was first released to audiences in the ’80s, it was to mixed reviews. Can you believe it? However as the weeks went by, the movie became the the highest-grossing domestic film of 1986. And the second film in the franchise has received massive success, currently streaming on Paramount+ .
The action drama takes us to the Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School and introduces us to fighter pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Cruise). The new student’s cocky attitude causes tension between him and the other pilots. But this guy has two goals – become the top fighter pilot and get the attention of his flight instructor Charlotte (Kelly McGillis).
Ever wondered how old the actors were at the time? We’ve shared the cast’s ages at the time of the movie’s release in May 1986, as well as how old they are now as of August 2023.
(Photo by Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
How old was Tom Cruise in Top Gun?
The leading man who played LT Pete “Maverick” Mitchell was only 22 years old when the film began shooting, and 23 when it was released. He is the youngest amongst his co-stars. The iconic actor’s birthday is July 3, 1962 which means he is currently 61 years old.
How old was Kelly McGillis in Top Gun?
The actress was two months away from her twenty-ninth birthday when the production came out, taking on the role of Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Blackwood. Her birthday is only a few days after her co-star’s – July 9, 1957. She is currently 66 years old. McGillis didn’t reprise her role in the sequel but has continued to act in films throughout the years.
How old was Val Kilmer in Top Gun?
The actor who played LT Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, aka Maverick’s rival at the school, was 26 years old when the movie premiered. He is a winter baby, having been born Dec. 31, 1959. Kilmer is currently 63. The star reprised his role in the sequel and his most recent movie is a documentary about his life and career titled Val which is streaming on Prime Video.
How old was Anthony Edwards in Top Gun?
The LTJG Nick “Goose” Bradshaw actor was 23 years old, just two months away from turning 24 when the production debuted on the big screens. He was born July 19, 1962 and is currently 61 years old. Following his role in Top Gun , you may recognize Edwards from television shows like ER , Law & Order True Crime , and WeCrashed .
How old was Meg Ryan in Top Gun?
Ryan played Edwards’ onscreen wife, Carole Bradshaw. The actress was 24 years old during the action drama. She is currently 61 years old and her birthday is Nov. 19. The celebrity became one of the most successful actresses in the ’90s and 2000s, mostly known for romantic comedies like Sleepless in Seattle , When Harry Met Sally…. , You’ve Got Mail.
How old was Tom Skerritt in Top Gun?
Skerritt, aka CDR Mike “Viper” Metcalf in the film, was 53 years old when it was released to audiences. He is currently 89, soon celebrating his 90th birthday on Aug. 25. Skerritt is the oldest of his co-stars. The talent has been acting since 1962 with his debut film War Hunt .
How old was Michael Ironside in Top Gun?
The LCDR Rick “Jester” Heatherly actor was 35 years old when the Tom Cruise-led movie was released. Ironside is currently 73 years old and was born on Feb. 12, 1950. He has continued to act, many of his jobs in voiceover roles including projects like Superman: The Animated Series , Wolverine and the X-Men , and Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising .
How old was Tim Robbins in Top Gun?
Radar intercept officer, LTJG Sam “Merlin” Wells, was played by Robbins. He was 28 years old at the time of movie, and is currently 64. Oct. 16 is when the actor celebrates his birthday. He’s known for roles such as Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption , Griffin Mill in The Playe r, and Senator Robert Hammond in Green Lantern .
Top Gun and its sequel Top Gun: Maverick are both currently streaming on Paramount+ .
- Published on 08/10/2023 at 10:29 AM EST
- Last updated on 08/10/2023 at 11:22 AM EST
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Tom Cruise Age Transformation: From Top Gun 1 to Top Gun: Maverick
Tom Cruise is a megastar in Hollywood. Cruise is a global star-winning actor as well as producer. he is also one of the highest-paying stars in Hollywood. Tom Cruise has aged like fine wine. Top gun 1 was released in 1986 when the megastar was just 24 years old. Top Gun became the best film of 1986. This film made Tom a megastar. Cruise is now seen in a sequel to the 1986 movie – Top Gun Maverick. Tom is 59 years old in the movie that was released in 2022. Tom looked exceptional in the role at 59 years, as he looked back in 1986. This all-time mega star’s age does not affect his work in any way.
Tom Cruise in Top Gun
Tom wanted to work in movies from a young age. He struggled with auditions until landing his debut gig in Endless love. The same year he was seen in Taps with Sean Penn. Cruise appeared in a few films before Top Gun. This film became the biggest film of the year. Cruise entered an A-lister star category with this film. Top Gun is a romantic action-based film. The plot starts with Tom’s character Lt, Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, joining’ an elite navy flight school.
Tom Cruise then went on to become Hollywood’s highest-paid actor by 1990. As the actor in the mega-blockbuster movie Top Gun, Tom was making big money. Tom also earned the title of the most paid actor in the world. This handsome star earned huge amounts in films in 1990, but this amount crossed boundaries with Mission Impossible in 1996. Tom replied to his earnings to The uncool,
“I get paid because I’m worth it and they should pay me that much. But I’ve never done work for money, ever,” he shared with Vanity Fair in 2000 (via The Uncool). “It is my life, it is what I do, it is what I love to do”
Tom Cruise’s personal life
Tom married his first wife Mimi Rogers. The couple split in 1990. Tom went ahead and married Nicole Kidman and started to raise a family. They split in 2001 stating they had “irreconcilable differences”. Cruise married a third time to Katie Holmes and Split in 2012 when Katie filed for divorce. Tom is currently dating Hayley Atwell.
Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick
After a 36-year break, Tom Cruise is back in the Top Gun sequel, Top Gun Maverick. Tom Cruise did not want a green screens in any of his stunts. He wanted to perform stunts himself. This reminds us how Cruise can carry everything single-handedly.
Cruise’s acting at 59 years old is still breathtaking. He looks athletic, dashing, and has all the charisma he had back in Top Gun. Cruise has had a bright career since Top Gun and continues to shine with his new arrival of Top Gun: Maverick as he enters the $100 million club for the first time.
Top Gun Maverick also gets a 5 min standing ovation at Cann es.
Top Gun: Maverick releases in theatres on 27 May 2022.
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How old was tom cruise when he made top gun in 1986.
Tom Cruise was very young when he was in Top Gun in 1986. There has been a huge time gap between the original and the sequel Top Gun: Maverick.
Tom Cruise has been the leading star in several movies since he was very young, but how old was he when he made the original Top Gun film in 1986? The recent, long-awaited sequel Top Gun: Maverick has sparked new conversation about the actor and his illustrious career in Hollywood. Considering Tom Cruise started his career at a young age, it’s great to see him continue to do what he loves, but it's sometimes easy to forget how young he was when he found superstardom.
Tom Cruise began his acting career at only 18 years old. He started off in smaller roles as most beginning actors do. He was part of the ensemble cast of The Outsiders in 1983, but his career started to blossom when he starred in Risky Business that same year. His star status was locked in place after leading the original Top Gun in 1986 . The movie centered around the Navy's flight school, TOPGUN, that trains fighter pilots. Tom Cruise plays the reckless adrenaline junkie Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, alongside co-stars Val Kilmer as Iceman and Anthony Edwards as Maverick’s right-hand man, Goose. The film was packed full of action, plane stunts, tragedy, and iconic songs that are still well known today. Audience members and critics were very fond of his performance in the film and wanted to see more of him on the big screen–the rest is history. Tom Cruise is now one of the most accomplished actors in the industry, going on to star in, among other things, the Mission: Impossible franchise , Jerry McGuire , and Born on the Fourth of July .
Related: Why Top Gun: Maverick Reviews Are So Positive
Though he had already been acting a few years before his big break, Tom Cruise was still only 24 years old when he starred in the classic film Top Gun in 1986. That role is what began to make a name for him in Hollywood. With the combined success of Risky Business and Top Gun , Tom Cruise began a meteoric rise to the top during the 1980s. In that same decade, he went on to star in and gain critical acclaim for his roles in The Color of Money and Rain Man after his performance in Top Gun .
How Old Tom Cruise Is In Top Gun: Maverick
Nearly 36 years after the original film, a sequel to Top Gun was released. Top Gun: Maverick made it clear that Tom Cruise’s glory days are not behind him yet. The actor was 59 years old when Top Gun: Maverick was released , and not much has changed since 1986. Similar to the character he plays in the film, Cruise is also an adrenaline hound. He is notorious for doing his own stunts in films, no matter how dangerous. He flew real helicopters and fighter jets while shooting the movie, and he’s had his pilot's license since 1994.
It’s obvious that Tom Cruise has a passion for acting and action alike. He’s been dedicated to his craft since he was 18 years old, and gained fame only a few years later with Top Gun . Decades later, there seems to be no sign of the actor slowing down anytime soon. He will reprise his role as top spy Ethan Hunt in two more Mission: Impossible movies, set to be released within the next two years.
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How old was Tom Cruise in Top Gun?
Faqs about tom cruise’s age in ‘top gun’, 1. how old was tom cruise when he filmed ‘top gun’, 2. when did ‘top gun’ come out, 3. was tom cruise the main character in ‘top gun’, 4. who directed ‘top gun’, 5. what other movies has tom cruise acted in, 6. how tall is tom cruise, 7. did tom cruise do his own stunts in ‘top gun’, 8. is there a sequel to ‘top gun’, 9. who did tom cruise play in ‘top gun’, 10. did tom cruise win any awards for his role in ‘top gun’, 11. is ‘top gun’ based on a true story, 12. are there any real fighter jets in ‘top gun’, 13. how much money did ‘top gun’ make at the box office, 14. where was ‘top gun’ filmed, 15. was ‘top gun’ a critical success, how old was tom cruise in ‘top gun’.
Tom Cruise was 24 years old when he starred in the iconic film ‘Top Gun’ released in 1986.
Tom Cruise was 22 years old when he filmed ‘Top Gun’, but he turned 24 by the time the movie was released.
‘Top Gun’ was released in 1986.
Yes, Tom Cruise played the lead role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in ‘Top Gun’.
‘Top Gun’ was directed by Tony Scott.
Tom Cruise has appeared in numerous popular films such as ‘Mission: Impossible’ series, ‘Jerry Maguire’, ‘Risky Business’, and ‘Rain Man’ among many others.
Tom Cruise is approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall (about 170 cm).
Yes, Tom Cruise is known for performing many of his own stunts, including the flying sequences in ‘Top Gun’.
Yes, a sequel to ‘Top Gun’ titled ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is set to be released in 2021.
Tom Cruise portrayed the character of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a talented naval aviator, in ‘Top Gun’.
No, Tom Cruise did not win any awards specifically for his performance in ‘Top Gun’.
No, ‘Top Gun’ is a fictional film, although it was inspired by a real training program called the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program.
Yes, ‘Top Gun’ features several real fighter jets, including the F-14 Tomcat.
‘Top Gun’ grossed over $356 million worldwide at the box office.
Most of the filming for ‘Top Gun’ took place in California, particularly at Naval Air Station Miramar.
‘Top Gun’ received mixed reviews from critics upon its release, but it achieved significant commercial success and has since become a beloved and iconic film.
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How Old Was Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Look at His Iconic Role and Epic Journey
Although Tom Cruise has starred in many films since he was a young child, what was his age when he filmed the first Top Gun movie in 1986? Recently, the eagerly anticipated Top Gun: Maverick sequel has reignited discussions about the actor and his remarkable Hollywood career.
It’s wonderful to watch Tom Cruise doing what he loves, especially considering how young he began his career. However, it’s sometimes easy to forget how young he was when he discovered superstardom.
Tom Cruise was just eighteen when he started his acting career. Like other aspiring actors, he began with modest roles. In 1983, he appeared in The Outsiders as a member of the ensemble cast, but it was not until he featured in Risky Business that year that his career truly took off.
After directing the first Top Gun in 1986, he cemented his place in the spotlight. The Navy’s TOPGUN flight school, which instructs fighter pilots, served as the focal point of the film. Alongside Val Kilmer as Iceman and Anthony Edwards as Maverick’s right-hand man, Goose, Tom Cruise plays the reckless adrenaline junkie Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.
Action, tragic scenes involving planes, and well-known songs from the film were all abundant in this picture. His performance in the movie won over both critics and audience members, who expressed a strong desire to see more of him on the big screen.
The rest is history. Currently regarded as one of the most skilled performers in the business, Tom Cruise has starred in films such as Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry McGuire, and the Mission: Impossible trilogy.
Tom Cruise was only 24 years old when he starred in the iconic 1986 movie Top Gun, despite having been acting for a few years prior to his big break. It was that job that launched his career in Hollywood.
In the 1980s, Tom Cruise’s career took off thanks to the joint success of Top Gun and Risky Business. Following his success in Top Gun, he went on to star in and win praise from critics for his parts in The Color of Money and Rain Man in the same decade.
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How Old Is Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick?
A sequel to Top Gun was released over 36 years after the original film. Top Gun: Maverick proved that Tom Cruise’s glory days are far from over. When Top Gun: Maverick was released in 1986, the actor was 59 years old, and not much has changed since then.
Cruise, like the man he plays in the film, is an adrenaline junkie. He is well-known for performing his own stunts in films, no matter how dangerous they are. He flew genuine helicopters and fighter jets while filming and has held a pilot’s license since 1994.
It’s clear that Tom Cruise enjoys both acting and action. He’s been working in his profession since he was 18 years old, and he rose to prominence only a few years later with Top Gun. Decades later, the actor shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. He will return as top spy Ethan Hunt in two more Mission: Impossible films, both of which will be released within the next two years.
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‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Actor Glen Powell Says Infidelity Rumors With Sydney Sweeney Were “Disorienting And Unfair”
- glen powell
‘Anyone But You’s Teaser Gives ‘Euphoria’ Vibes While Showcasing Sydney Sweeney And Glen Powell’s Palpable Chemistry
Glen powell’s best role is still as a horror himbo in ‘scream queens’, stream it or skip it: ‘top gun: maverick’ on prime video, in which tom cruise once again feels the need for speed, stream it or skip it: ‘devotion’ on paramount+, an action-drama starring jonathan majors as the first black u.s. navy aviator.
Romance was in the air this summer. Or, at least, the internet thought it was. Many were thrilled to learn that Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney and Top Gun: Maverick actor Glen Powell were teaming up for a new rom-com titled Anyone But You . And as footage from their press tour and set began circulating, so did the dating rumors.
Powell recently addressed the rumors of their alleged romance for the very first time in a new interview with Men’s Health — and he did not seem happy.
“When all that stuff happened, you know, publicly, it felt disorienting and unfair,” he said. “But what I’m realizing now is that’s just a part of this gig now.”
The rumors coincided with the news that Powell and his girlfriend, Gigi Paris, had broken up. At the same time, outlets reported that Sweeney and her fiancée Jonathan Davino were having some relationship troubles of their own, leading many to believe that they were possibly cheating on their partners with each other.
With the nature of his job, he told Men’s Health , it can be difficult to to put down roots in any one place, making dating even harder.
“On a romantic level, you gotta find a teammate who is down for that adventure, down for that uncertainty, down for that thing. It’s a lot to deal with,” he said. “Honestly, I really try to be a great partner. When I love, I love hard. I also understand that the speed and uncertainty of my life is a very hard thing to put up with.”
That’s what brought him to adopt his dog, Brisket, after his breakup with Paris.
“That’s why I became a dog dad,” Powell said. “I needed to put love into something. I saw Brisket’s face and fell in love.”
With the rumors of their “alleged affair,” as Powell put it during the interview, came the realization that he had reached a new level of stardom since appearing alongside Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick . He said he notices the “little checkpoints where the world has shifted a few degrees” when meeting new people.
“If you talk to a girl or something like that, and you’re like, ‘We have a really great connection, we’re having a really great interaction,’ and then they ask you for a selfie, it’s like, ‘Oh. . .,'” he said.
The romance rumors may not be true, but fans will still be able to see the two lovebirds in action in Anyone But You . Sweeney and Powell play Bea and Ben, who unexpectedly reunite at a wedding in Australia after their first date goes terribly wrong.
As the co-stars affectionately put it during an appearance at CinemaCon earlier this year, Sweeney plays a “real nightmare” in Anyone But You , while Powell’s character is “a real asshole.”
Anyone But You premiers in theaters Dec. 15.
- Top Gun: Maverick
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'Top Gun Maverick' Sets Royal Albert Hall Concert For 2024
Posted: November 16, 2023 | Last updated: November 17, 2023
- Top Gun: Maverick Live at Royal Albert Hall will take place on Sept 27, 2024.
- Top Gun sequel builds on the legacy of the original film, earning critical acclaim and Oscar nominations. Cruise and Teller deliver standout performances.
- The concert will be conducted by the film's composer Lorne Balfe.
Top Gun: Maverick is coming to Royal Albert Hall as a concert! The Tom Cruise film is the one to go down in history as the film that “saved Hollywood,” after the pandemic hit the theatre business worldwide. The feature brought back the audiences to theatres and did a massive box office run for entertaining fans with nostalgia, dogfights, assembling of the crew, and high-stakes action. To relive it all with live music will be an unforgettable experience.
Music composer and conductor Lorne Balfe recently took to X (formerly Twitter) to make the announcement and share his delight, “ Top Gun: Maverick Live will be performed at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday 27th Sept 2024 where I’ll be conducting the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra alongside the big screen.” The audience will get to experience the Oscar-winning blockbuster on the big screen, with Balfe, Harold Faltermeyer , Lady Gaga , and Hans Zimmer 's epic score performed live-to-picture, conducted by Balfe himself.
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Builds on the Legacy of Original Film
A Top Gun sequel was always on fans' minds however, it only came to fruition three decades later. Maverick picks up 30 years after the events of the original feature and our favorite aviator is tasked with training a detachment of graduates for a special assignment. The emotional core of the film is the conflict and chemistry between chemistry Maverick (Cruise) and Goose’s son Rooster (played by Miles Teller ) . While Maverick must confront the ghosts of his past along with his worst fears, it all culminates in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from him and his students.
The movie has a 96 percent certified fresh grade from critics and a 99 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes audience meter. Joseph Kosinski helmed the feature with a screenplay by Ehren Kruger , Eric Warren Singer , and Christopher McQuarrie while the story is by Peter Craig and Justin Marks . The movie bagged six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and was dubbed one of the top ten films of 2022 by the American Film Institute.
Cruise and Teller are supported by a talented movie cast including Val Kilmer as Iceman , Jennifer Connelly as Penny, Jon Hamm as Vice Admiral Beau "Cyclone" Simpson, Glen Powell as LT Jake "Hangman" Seresin, Lewis Pullman as LT Robert "Bob" Floyd, Ed Harris as Rear Admiral Chester "Hammer" Cain, Monica Barbaro as LT Natasha "Phoenix" Trace, Jay Ellis as LT Reuben "Payback" Fitch and more. The feature is produced by Cruise, McQuarrie, Jerry Bruckheimer and David Ellison .
Top Gun: Maverick Live will be performed at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday 27th Sept 2024. The movie is available to stream on Paramount+ and Prime Video in the U.S.
Watch on Paramount+
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