*Early screenings of the new “Top Gun: Maverick” has viewers calling it the “Perfect Blockbuster.” The film will screen at the Cannes Film Festival in May before Paramount releases it in theaters over the Memorial Day weekend.
EUR sat down with director Joe Kosinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to chat about the making of this highly anticipated sequel. We asked how it was to take on the original “Top Gun” which is not only iconic but also the best-grossing film of 1986 the year it debuted?
“Well I definitely felt the pressure of taking on something so iconic, the movie and for Tom bringing back Maverick,” Kosinski said. “I think we all felt that every single day. Tom described this film as hitting a bullet with a bullet, so every single day, every member of the crew was really pushing to make sure we delivered on that.”
Kosinski went on to talk about the number of hours of footage he filmed. When asked, if indeed he had filmed 800 hours he said: “That’s what I was told by one of our editorial assistants and the reason for that is when you are filming aerial sequences and you have six cameras in the cockpit and cameras mounted on the outside of the airplane, it’s not a traditional filming process where you can pick which camera you’re going to roll or stop and start. The actors would go up with their aviators and once they were in the right spot with the right light and the right terrain and ready to film, they would turn the cameras on and roll.”
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In order to shoot scenes set inside the cockpits, Kosinski and the filmmaking team had to teach the actors how to use the equipment themselves since the space on an F-18 could not fit a traditional filming crew.
“We had to teach the actors about lighting, about cinematography, about editing,” Tom Cruise is credited as saying. “I had to teach them how to turn the cameras on and off, and about camera angles and lenses. We didn’t have unlimited time in these jets. If they were going up for 20-30 minutes, I had to make sure that we got what we needed.”
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer added: “It was very difficult for them (the actors) because first of all they are taking five, six, seven Gs while they are trying to act and turn on the camera and turn off the camera. So, it was really grueling on our actors. Fortunately, Tom designed a program where we spent about three months training in the different types of airplanes so by the time they got in the F-18s they were more accustomed to the Gs.”
One of the stars of “Top Gun: Maverick” is Miles Teller, who plays Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Anthony Edwards’ character “Goose” from the original movie. According to Teller, he came up with the “Rooster” callsign for his character. He thought it sounded like it was in the same family. He thought it was cool and he got the seal of approval from Tom.
EUR sat down with Teller who told us: “he loves the fact that we are bringing Top Gun to a new generation, although I am pretty sure the new generation, their parents and a lot of dads in their forties and fifties are also pumped for this movie. It’s really special and the fact that Tom wanted me to play Goose’s son, means a lot. It’s a big honor.”
Teller also said, “We had four cameras in the cockpit facing us and some other shots connected to the jet and it’s tough because you’re up in the air, you can’t talk to the director, you’re just talking to your pilot, you’re figuring out the mechanics of flying, what altitude, where is the light? All of these things. But, then you also become your own prop person, your own wardrobe person, if you do a take and your one belt is loose or your mask is foggy, you have to do it all over again.”
Many thought that it would be impossible for actors to really be in jets and not just a studio simulation, but with Tom as an expert pilot and the program and the training he put in place, “Top Gun: Maverick” is going to be the viewing spectacular of the summer. You’ll feel like you are flying with the characters, you’ll embrace every move and turn and you’ll be in for the ride of your life!
“Top Gun: Maverick” hits theaters May 27.