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Top Gun 2 producer hopeful Tom Cruise will return as Maverick

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Everett Collection

As long as Tom Cruise is playing action heroes risking their lives on the wings of airplanes, the promise of a long-whispered-about Top Gun sequel refuses to go away. But the whispers got a little louder again after producer David Ellison gave fans hope during his European publicity tour for Terminator: Genisys.

“Justin Marks is writing the [Top Gun 2] screenplay right now,” he told Collider. “He has a phenomenal take to really update that world for what fighter pilots in the Navy has turned into today. There is an amazing role for Maverick in the movie and there is no Top Gun without Maverick, and it is going to be Maverick playing Maverick. It is I don’t think what people are going to expect, and we are very, very hopeful that we get to make the movie very soon. But like all things, it all comes down to the script, and Justin is writing as we speak.”

A Top Gun sequel has been in development for at least five years, with Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) and Peter Craig (The Town) reportedly taking passes on a script for producer Jerry Bruckheimer and the late Tony Scott. A lot has changed in the military and global politics since Tom Cruise shot some MiGs out of the sky during the Cold War. Unmanned drones have replaced pilots for many of the missions that take place in aerial warfare, making an ace like Maverick a dinosaur of sorts. But Ellison thinks that’s part of the drama. 

When you look at the world of dogfighting, what’s interesting about it is that it’s not a world that exists to the same degree when the original movie came out,” he said. “This world has not been explored. It is very much a world we live in today where it’s drone technology and fifth generation fighters are really what the United States Navy is calling the last man-made fighter that we’re actually going to produce so it’s really exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today are all fun things that we’re gonna get to dive into in this movie.”

Cruise’s spokesperson had no comment.