Top Gun: Maverick was supposed to come out in 2019, but a three-year wait is worth it for an action spectacle that once seemed unlikely to ever happen. Back in 1990, four years after the original Top Gun became the year’s highest-grossing film and won an Oscar (Best Original Song for “Take My Breath Away,” which is honestly rude to Kenny Loggins), Tom Cruise told Playboy that making a sequel would be “irresponsible.”
After the Playboy reporter referred to Top Gun as as a “Nintendo game” and “a paean to blind patriotism,” Cruise replied, “OK, some people felt that Top Gun was a right-wing film to promote the Navy. And a lot of kids loved it. But I want the kids to know that that’s not the way war is — that Top Gun was just an amusement park ride, a fun film with a PG-13 rating that was not supposed to be reality.” That’s why, Cruise claimed, “I didn’t go on and make Top Gun II and III and IV and V. That would have been irresponsible.”
Instead, he made Mission: Impossible II and III and IV and V and VI, and soon, VII and VIII (and, uh, Jack Reacher II). I’ll take multiple M:I movies over multiple Top Gun movies any day, although luckily, we get both. Cruise was also supposed to star in a non-Marvel cinematic universe movie, but that plan was scrapped after “the biggest failure” of the director’s life. Not making more Dark Universe movies? Now that’s irresponsible.
Top Gun: Maverick comes out on May 27.