After one of the longest countdowns in cinematic history, Top Gun: Maverick is finally ready for takeoff. Tom Cruise preps some young pilots for a special mission in the new trailer for the film out May 27th.
Top Gun: Maverick arrives some 36 years after Top Gun, with Cruise reprising his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. The 59-year-old actor has access to the best skincare products that money can buy, and he certainly doesn’t look three decades older. If Maverick had landed in 2019 as originally intended, it wouldn’t feel anachronistic at all. But first the film encountered normal delays, and then COVID-19 changed the film landscape, prompting filmmakers to hold off until Top Gun could have a blockbuster box office.
A lot has changed over the last three years. The US ended its seemingly never-ending war in the Middle East, and now Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has the whole globe wary of anything that might escalate to World War III. Watching missiles blow up planes in the new Maverick trailer is a jarring experience, implying all sorts of peace-shattering consequences that director Joseph Kosinski probably never intended.
Luckily, there are lots of touches that make the Top Gun sequel feel familiar, as Maverick races a plane on his motorcycle and chafes at authority. The sentiment is mutual, according to Vice Admiral Cyclone (Jon Hamm), who tells the cocky fighter pilot, “You were not my first choice. You are here at the request of Admiral Kazansky, aka ‘Iceman.'” Here, the camera cuts to a photo of Val Kilmer looking dapper and serious, and leaving the door open for a big cameo.
But Maverick’s bigger challenge comes in the form of the young pilots he’s been tasked with leading into combat. “I’m not a teacher,” he says, and yet teach he does. But one student doesn’t want to be reached.
“You think up there, you’re dead. Believe me,” he tells Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller). Rooster happens to be the son of Maverick’s late friend, Nick “Goose” Bradshaw,” and he’s got a chip on his shoulder. “My dad believed in you,” Rooster replies. “I’m not going to make the same mistake.” Check out the trailer below.