“Maverick,” “Viper” and “Iceman” are returning to the silver screen.
A sequel to the 1986 blockbuster motion picture “Top Gun” — parts of which were filmed at and in the skies above NAS Fallon — is in the works, the Lahontan Valley News and Fallon Eagle-Standard learned Tuesday.
According to David Ellison, CEO of Skydance Productions which will produce the sequel, Tom Cruise will repeat his starring role as the daring Top Gun pilot “Maverick.” It has not been announced yet if Kelly McGillis, who played Cruise’s love interest in the first Top Gun, will appear in the second film.
Although details are scarce about the plot, Ellison has hinted that drone technology and the evolving culture of fifth generation Navy combat pilots will figure prominently in the script.
Although rumors have flown over the past few years that a sequel may be in the offing, Ellison’s statement is the first concrete evidence that a second film will be made.
Zip Upham, spokesman for NAS Fallon, told the LVN Tuesday that Cruise and several Hollywood film executives including Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the first Top Gun and Tony Scott, its director, traveled to NAS Fallon twice in 2012 to scout out filming locations and meet with Rear Adm. Mark Vance, then-commander of the Navy Strike and Air Warfare Center and his staff, about using the base’s aircraft, runways and hangars for the sequel.
“But the news that a second Top Gun film will be made is news to us at NAS Fallon,” Upham said.
The project that Cruise, Bruckheimer and Scott were working on at NAS Fallon was evidentially sidelined following the suicide of Scott just three days after the group’s visit to the air station, Upham added.
When the script’s new film is completed, he added, it must be submitted to the Los Angeles headquarters of the Navy Office of Information to determine if it appropriately represents the Navy and the U.S. military. If the script is approved, a Navy liaison officer will be assigned to the film to assist in providing Navy assets such as aircraft and airfields.
The first Top Gun motion picture provided Fallon and Churchill County “wonderful publicity and national and international recognition,” said Rachel Dahl, executive director of the Churchill Economic Development Authority.
“The second film certainly will do the same, and it’s exciting news to learn that it is a reality. When I travel and identify myself as coming from Fallon and Churchill County, people often tell me ‘I loved the Top Gun movie. I hope another will be made,’” she said.
Cruise, Bruckheimer and Val Kilmer, who played the pilot “Iceman” in the original movie, made hints several months ago that another Top Gun might in fact be made.
Cruise told Britain’s Sky News, “If we can get over some stumbling blocks, it will be fun to do.”
Bruckheimer was quoted in the London Guardian newspaper as saying, “We want to make a sequel and Tom wants to make a sequel.” He also told the New York Daily News that a sequel “will almost certainly take flight. We’re excited about it, and we’ve been excited for nearly 30 years to make a sequel. But we’ve never had a story that everybody signed off on.”
Kilmer also endorsed the sequel, saying, “I think it wouldn’t be that difficult to maintain the spirit of the original film.”
It is not known at this time if Kilmer will play his earlier role in the first motion picture. And the names of the other actors in the sequel, except for Cruise, have not been released.
In announcing that the sequel will be made, Ellison said that the script is being written “right now” by Justin Marks.
“He has a phenomenal take to really update that world for what fighter pilots in the Navy have turned into today,” Ellison said. “It is very much a world we live in today where it’s drone technology and fifth generation fighters... it’s really exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today.
“There is an amazing role for Maverick in the movie and there is no Top Gun without Maverick. It is going to be Maverick playing Maverick. It is, I don’t think, what people are going to expect,”
Cruise’s new film “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” will be released internationally at the end of next month.