Jerry Bruckheimer on Maverick’s return in the Top Gun sequel: “He’s still full of brass”

It’s been 34 years since Tom Cruise’s Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell attended the Naval Fighter Weapons school – aka Top Gun – at Miramar. A sequel has been mooted many times over the years, but only recently became a reality, with Cruise’s Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski at the helm.

But, as the star announced recently, that wait “will be a little longer” (opens in new tab), as Top Gun: Maverick evacuated its planned summer release date for a Christmas debut. With TG:M’s groundbreaking aerial photography, it was never going to go direct-to-digital…

If the original film’s class were the best of the best, then these are the best of the best *of the best*: they’ve already graduated Top Gun, and are prepping for a special mission. Among Maverick’s class is Lieutenant Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw: son of Maverick’s late best bud Goose. (Bradley was briefly seen as a toddler in the bar scene in the first film.) 

As for how Maverick has changed over the intervening years, producer Jerry Bruckheimer tells Total Film magazine in their new Big Screen Preview (opens in new tab), “Well, he’s still Maverick… He’s still full of brass. He wants to do what’s right. Sometimes there are people that get in his way. They have a higher ranking than he does. He doesn’t kowtow to them. So, he’s the same guy. He’s just got a few more years of experience.”

Miles Teller in Top Gun: Maverick

(Image credit: Paramount)

Cruise’s commitment to stunts is legendary, and he’s continuing to push the envelope here. Having filled his own ‘barf bag’ during earlier jet flights on the ’86 movie, Cruise designed a training course to help his young co-stars acclimatise to sensation of flying in F-18s this time.

“I mean, it was really gruelling on these actors,” adds Bruckheimer. “They really went through a grind. Plus, they had to be in phenomenal, physical shape just to be able to take the G-forces, because you have to force the blood to your head. You’re constantly pressing. And they learned how to do it. The footage we had on all our actors in these F-18s is pretty spectacular.”

Top Gun: Maverick opens on December 23.

For more on Top Gun: Maverick and the biggest films to look forward to when cinemas can safely reopen, check out the new issue of Total Film magazine (opens in new tab), which is on sale now. Featuring Ryan Reynolds’ videogame-comedy-actioner Free Guy, the new issue is on shelves and digital newsstands now.

Total Film's Free Guy cover

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios/Total Film)

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If you never want to miss a future issue of Total Film, why not subscribe (opens in new tab)? You’ll get the mag delivered directly to your door *before* it hits shelves, you’ll save money on the cover price, and right now, there’s a Mandalorian Funko Pop! offer that means you’ll get two figures and six months of the mag for just £20.50. Ts and Cs apply, visit (opens in new tab) to find out more.

Total Film's Mandalorian subscribers offer.

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