Top Gun: Maverick Came This Close To Being Grounded By Tom Cruise, Director Says

Director Joseph Kosinski revealed an all-or-nothing meeting with the movie star to revive the franchise.

Tom Cruise didn’t feel the need for speed when director Joseph Kosinski pitched him Top Gun: Maverick ― and it took a desperate 30-minute meeting to convince him otherwise, the director said.

Kosinski told Polygon in an interview that he and producer Jerry Bruckheimer flew to Paris to convince Tom to dust off the franchise while he was shooting a Mission: Impossible movie.

“We got about a half-hour of his time between setups. And I basically had 30 minutes to pitch this film, which I didn’t realise when we were flying over. But when I got there, I found that Tom really didn’t want to make another Top Gun.”

Tom Cruise attends the Japan premiere of Top Gun: Maverick
Tom Cruise attends the Japan premiere of Top Gun: Maverick
Ken Ishii via Getty Images

So Kosinski pitched under extreme pressure, emphasising the character-driven aspect of the movie that “leveraged the emotion” of the original. He emphasised the heavy responsibility Tom’s character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell felt for the lives of other pilots under his tutelage.

“It’s one of those moments as a director, you have one on every film, where you’re on the spot to make a case for why this movie should be made. I had 30 minutes to do it,” Kosinski recalled. “And at the end of the pitch, he picked up the phone, he called the head of Paramount Pictures and said, ‘We’re making another Top Gun.’ It’s pretty impressive to see the power of a real movie star in that moment.”

It appears to be a good decision. Tom recorded his first ever opening weekend box office over $100 million, 36 years after the original Top Gun premiered.

Before You Go