Twenty One Pilots frontman says Tom Cruise 'fired' the band from Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack
Twenty One Pilots' venture into songwriting for Tom Cruise was grounded before take-off, according to frontman Tyler Joseph.
Speaking to Los Angeles–based radio station KROQ, Joseph said Monday that the Grammy-winning musical duo was initially brought in to contribute to Paramount's upcoming Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack before the 59-year-old actor let them go from the production.
"I was working with the music placement person for the new Top Gun on writing a new song for them, and then I believe Tom Cruise came in and just fired everyone," Joseph said. "You've seen that new Top Gun thing that he's got? The trailer has been out for, like, three years, so there's been a few overhauls, and I was a part of that, so, they moved on."
A source close to the production tells EW that there is "no truth" to Joseph's comments relating to Cruise. EW has reached out to the musician for further clarification.
When pressed on how far along he got in the alleged contribution, Joseph said he "saw some scenes" but that he didn't start writing material before the project endured significant release delays due to post-production work in 2019 and the COVID pandemic in 2020.
"It was actually pretty soon after they brought me in to show me parts of the movie and what they were looking for and stuff," he said. "Then I got word that there was like a wholesale swap."
Representatives for Paramount and Cruise did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
Last week, Oscar-winning "Shallow" singer-songwriter Lady Gaga released the lead single from the Top Gun sequel's accompanying soundtrack album, the rock-tinged ballad "Hold My Hand," an original tune she produced with her Chromatica collaborator BloodPop and A Star Is Born's Benjamin Rice. She also worked on the blockbuster's score alongside legendary composer Hans Zimmer.
The song's music video features scenes of Cruise from the new film as well as the 1986 Top Gun movie, particularly focusing on his character Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchel staring at photos from his past and reflecting on the death of Goose (Anthony Edwards).
Cruise recently revealed on The Late Late Show that he was looking for a specific sound for the film and he found it in Gaga's song.
"She presented her song to us and it just opened up the whole movie," he said. "It opened those doors to the emotional core of the film that we had. That moment, things just came together in such a beautiful way. The song she'd written just fell right in and became, really, the underlying score and the heartbeat of our film."
Gaga previously said that the song — which follows in the footsteps of Berlin's Oscar-winning song "Take My Breath Away" from the first Top Gun movie — was a "love letter to the world" amid difficult times.
"When I wrote this song for Top Gun: Maverick, I didn't even realize the multiple layers it spanned across the film's heart, my own psyche, and the nature of the world we've been living in," she wrote on Instagram. "I've been working on it for years, perfecting it, trying to make it ours. I wanted to make music into a song where we share our deep need to both be understood and try to understand each other — a longing to be close when we feel so far away and an ability to celebrate life's heroes."
Top Gun: Maverick lands in theaters May 27.