Maverick filmmakers on the return of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, paying homage to the iconic volleyball scene

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Top Gun: Maverick is also drenched in nostalgia and reminders to its 1986 predecessor that the original film’s fighter pilots were sweaty sunny.

Which means that there is, of course, that maverick give a nod to Superior gunThe famous beach volleyball scene of , long celebrated for its rural and/or homoerotic character. This time, however, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) – called back to base to train a new class of airmen for a dangerous mission to destroy an enemy’s uranium stockpile – pits his students against each other. others in a beach game Soccer. But make no mistake, it’s just as hot and shirtless.

“It’s one of the things I was asked the most about when I started. I was like, ‘There’s no way we weren’t going to do this,'” said director Joseph Kosinski to Yahoo Entertainment during a virtual interview in which he was joined by producer Jerry Bruckheimer (see above).

“The question [was], ‘How to integrate this sequence into the story? How can we make it necessary for our storytelling so that we don’t just do it to do it? »

Kosinksi says the young cast members were more than a game.

“It’s like one of those days on set I’ll never forget. … The actors put in so much work to prepare for it, obviously, as you see on the screen. And we just had a good time to do it.

Tom Cruise, who is a licensed pilot, was back in the cockpit of “Top Gun: Maverick”. (Photo: Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Cruise is absent from the football game, but there is still plenty of action in maverick. And, as has become his calling card on projects like the Impossible mission series, Cruise did as many of his own stunts as possible — including piloting planes — in the long-running film.

“I had seen these videos that Navy pilots put on YouTube, from inside their cockpits with a GoPro camera. And they were just better than anything I had seen on film,” Kosinski said. “And I was like, ‘Tom, it’s on the internet for free. We have to get past that if we want to make this movie. And he accepted. It was then that he began this 15 month process working closely with the Navy to determine how to place six Imax cameras in the cockpit of a [F/A-18F] Super Hornet, and how to capture all the aerial footage from this film for real.

Bruckheimer adds, “Tom wanted it to be a love letter to aviation. That’s what his design was on film. He wanted to be authentic and real and steal as much as possible.

Also returning for the sequel is Val Kilmer, who memorably played Maverick’s rival Tom “Iceman” Kazansky in the original. Iceman has been promoted to Admiral, and Kilmer’s appearance in the film is particularly poignant. The actor has publicly battled throat cancer for the past few years, leaving him barely able to speak, but he convinced Cruise and the filmmakers he was in for the sequel.

“It was very, very difficult for me,” says Bruckheimer. “Knowing Val when he was in his early twenties. Now that he’s back, he’s a consummate professional. He works so hard. He’s a brilliant actor, and you can see that in his performance in this movie. It’s really sincere to me. And I think for the public too.

Top Gun: Maverick opens Friday.

Video produced by Anne Lilburn and edited by John Santo

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