Blast from the past

Let’s look back at Top Gun with some awesome (and very useless) facts


Yup that’s right. We’ve seen the photos and we’ve heard the news. I’m talking about the set photos of Tom Cruise training and prepping for Top Gun: Maverick. The long awaited sequel to the 80’s cult action movie is headed to theaters in 2019, and the star in it- Tom Cruise is returning to the role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

Oblivion’s Joseph Kosinski is rumored to be the director behind the sequel and while it doesn’t have other actors attached besides Tom, we know that the premiere date is 12 July 2019.

So… while we wait for some other info about Top Gun: Maverick, let’s look back at the original.

Written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr and directed by Tony Scott, Top Gun was made with just 15 million dollars budget. It would earn more than 350 million dollars at the box office and of course 4 Academy Award nominations (winning one for best original song). Upon the film’s original release, critical response was mixed and even Roger Ebert was baffled by the movie. He said in his review:

“Movies like Top Gun are hard to review because the good parts are so good and the bad parts are so relentless. The dogfights are absolutely the best since Clint Eastwood’s electrifying aerial scenes in Firefox. But look out for the scenes where the people talk to one another.”

Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell was named a hero in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains list, and the quote “I feel the need — the need for speed.” Is #94 on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes list.

In many of the supporting roles were then virtually unknown actors who later on would become movie stars in their own right, and for whom Top Gun was a good starting point in the career. Meg Ryan and Adrian Pasdar just to name a few.

Since the premiere in May 1986, the movie has made its way on many top film lists and has been the subject of comedic interpretation and spoofs. Hey even Quentin Tarantino performed a Top Gun monologue in Sleep with me, and let’s not forget about Hot Shots!

Almost entire movie was a spoof of Top Gun, and a successful one of that.

But hey… while we wait for Top Gun: Maverick, let’s look back at the original 1986 movie with some awesome and useless trivia.

Shall we?  Cue the music…

Movie producer John Davis claimed that Top Gun was a recruiting video for the Navy, that people saw the movie and said, “Wow! I want to be a pilot.” After the film’s release, the US Navy stated that the number of young men who joined wanting to be Naval Aviators went up by 500 percent.

Anthony Edwards is the only actor who didn’t vomit while in the fighter jets.

Val Kilmer did not want to be in this film, but was forced to by contractual obligations. However, it became one of his most iconic roles in his career.

Tony Scott had only a few minutes to film the sex scene.

The character portrayed by Kelly McGillis is based on Christine Fox, a civilian flight instructor the producers met on a visit to Miramar while doing research to prepare for the movie. Fox eventually rose through the ranks at the Pentagon, retiring in May 2014 as Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense, the highest post ever held by a woman at the Department of Defense.

Top Gun was the highest-grossing movie of 1986.

The film was inspired by an article in the May 1983 issue of “California” magazine about the U.S. Navy’s Top Gun School.

The real Top Gun School imposes a five dollar fine to anyone in the staff that quotes the movie.

Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Matthew Broderick, Sean Penn, Michael J. Fox, Scott Baio and Tom Hanks all turned down the role of Maverick.

In order to stay in character, Tom Cruise would sit far away from the rest of the cast in between takes.

Tom Cruise actually had to wear lifts in his scenes with Kelly McGillis. Cruise is 5’7″ while McGillis is 5’10”.

In preparation for his role, Tom Cruise was allowed to take three rides in the F-14 Tomcat. He vomited during the first trip, but was okay during the other two.

All of Maverick’s stunt flying in the film was done by Scott Altman, who later went on to become an astronaut.

Both John Carpenter and David Cronenberg turned down the chance to direct.

The tension between Maverick and Iceman isn’t just down to good acting. Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer kept their distance from each other and never socialised.


Leave a reply