By Matthew McKibben | April 2, 2014
Famed mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer recently stopped by HuffPost Live to talk about the proposed concept for Top Gun 2. “The concept is, basically, are the pilots obsolete because of drones? [Tom] Cruise is going to show them that they’re not obsolete. They’re here to stay,” Bruckheimer said. “It’s just getting to the starting place. Fortunately for Tom, he’s very busy, so you have to find a slot he can fit into and get a budget that Paramount feels they can make the picture.”
When you get right down to it, in a decade that was largely defined by popcorn entertainment, a case can be made that Top Gun was the best popcorn movie of them all. It featured an up-and-coming Tom Cruise in what would become the movie that officially skyrocketed his superstardom, it put mega-producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson (no relation to Smells Like Screen Spirit’s Managing Editor) on the map, it officially ignited director Tony Scott’s career, and became a movie that largely defined Ronald Reagan’s 80s (for good and bad).
When I first heard that Bruckheimer wanted to do a sequel about Tom Cruise’s Maverick fighting either with or against drones, my initial reaction was to be skeptical. But with the right script and director, it might be possible to make a movie that addresses the politics and controversies of drone use. I mean, it seems that a movie which asks the question if humans should still be flying jets when we could be doing the same task with drones will at least have to touch on civilian casualties/collateral damage. If not, you’re basically remaking the flop Stealth, instead of Top Gun 2. If I were Jerry Bruckheimer, I’d be knocking on Ridley Scott’s door to see if he’s interested in making the movie, both because he’d be a great choice for the potentially heavier subject matter, but also as a way to pay homage to his fairly recently deceased brother.
My biggest fear with a Top Gun sequel isn’t so much the concept but that the movie would be too CGI heavy. The first movie still holds up relatively well, mainly because of its great characters, but also because of the use of actual Navy jets doing actual Navy jet things. I guess another fear I have is seeing a 2014 Val Kilmer do a shirtless volleyball scene. Also, is it possible to flip the bird to a drone?