Top Gun: Maverick – the highly anticipated sequel to 1986’s classic/action drama starring Tom Cruise as a pilot – has been delayed a year to summer 2020. It’s no exaggeration to say that Cruise has fronted multiple iconic films over the course of his decades-long career as a Hollywood leading man, but few are quite as beloved as Top Gun. It was no late bloomer either, as director Tony Scott’s high-flying movie grossed nearly $400 million worldwide on a budget of only $15 million.
Considering that level of success, it’s actually quite surprising a sequel never materialized sooner. Still, Cruise confirmed last year that a Top Gun 2 is in fact happening, with him back in the cockpit as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Assuming the director’s chair for Top Gun: Maverick is Joseph Kosinski, who directed Cruise in the 2013 sci-fi movie Oblivion. Original director Scott sadly passed away in 2012, and one assumes would likely have returned for the sequel were he still alive to be part of it.
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Top Gun: Maverick was assigned a theatrical release date of July 12, 2019 last year, but unfortunately for eager fans, they’ll have to wait quite a while longer to see Cruise’s titular character take to the skies once again. According to Deadline, Paramount has delayed the sequel nearly an entire year, assigning it a new release date of June 26, 2020.
While Paramount hasn’t provided an official reason for the delay, Deadline’s sources say that the added production time will enable the filmmakers to properly coordinate and design the many breathtaking aerial sequences planned to be part of the sequel. Considering how well-remembered Top Gun’s flight scenes are today, it’s no surprise that those involved with Maverick intend for the sequel to up the ante in terms of aerial artistry, especially with how much special effects have advanced since 1986.
It’s true that release date changes during production can sometimes indicate a lack of faith in a project by the studio, but that doesn’t at all appear to be the case here, so Top Gun fans can rest easy. The fact that Paramount opted to move Top Gun: Maverick from one date right in the middle of the competitive summer blockbuster season to another suggests that the studio has no worries about Cruise’s return to the “Danger Zone” being able to pose a formidable challenge to whatever other tentpoles end up securing a summer 2020 release. When it comes to the sequel’s theatrical debut though, Paramount clearly doesn’t feel the need for speed.
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