Top Gun: Maverick: The pitch that changed Tom Cruise’s mind

Tom Cruise wasn’t interested, but it took 30 minutes and one damn good idea to change his mind about revisiting one of his most famous roles.

Tom Cruise didn’t want to make a Top Gun sequel.

The Hollywood megastar was completely immersed in Mission impossible the franchise and the idea of ​​returning to his badass fighter pilot from 1986 was not considered.

So how did Cruise get convinced to take off in an exceptionally well-watched movie? Top Shooter: Maverick? According to director Joe Kosinski, it took 30 minutes and one hell of a pitch.

“[Executive producer] Jerry Bruckheimer sent me an outline of the script about five years ago,” Kosinski told “After I read this, I had some ideas and thoughts, and Jerry said that it would be better if I presented them directly to Tom.

“Later I found out that Tom didn’t really want to be in this movie. So Jerry and I flew to Paris where Tom was filming. Mission impossibleand between shootings I had about half an hour of his time to present the idea of ​​the film to him.

“After I finished my presentation, Tom picked up the phone and called the head [Paramount Pictures] and said, “We’re making this film,” which is amazing.”

For adrenaline junkie Cruise, Kosinski’s winning idea was that the director wanted to film all of the aerial scenes in the air.

“Tom said from the very beginning of this film that it was like shooting a bullet in a bullet because it would be very difficult to practically shoot all these aerial sequences, which is what I suggested, and he was right.

“It was a real challenge to figure out how to do it because you can’t just fake what we were trying to get. You can’t just capture it on stage or on a green screen. It was a lot of work, but I’m glad we did it and hopefully the audience will agree.”

Just how much work? A lot of painstaking, time-consuming and physically and mentally burdensome work.

Kosinski had seen footage from Go-Pro cameras placed in the cockpits of Navy pilots on YouTube, and he found it more convincing than any aerial scene created for the film. But the GoPro can only shoot from one small angle, it’s not exactly cinematic.

Within 15 months Kosinsky and Top Shooter: MaverickCinematographer Claudio Miranda has been working with the US Navy on how to fit six tiny prototype Sony cameras into the F-18’s cockpit without interfering with the safe operation of the aircraft.

“He could not prevent the ejection if it had to happen, and he had to withstand the forces, altitude and speed of the aircraft. It took about 15 months to get to this point, and once we had the cameras we put Tom on a test flight and when we saw the footage we were like, “Wow, this is going to work.” “.

Installing cameras inside high-speed cars was only half the battle. To capture the full weight and stakes of the film’s stunts, the actors had to experience what their characters go through – the forces of gravity at 600 miles per hour (965 km/h).

In the original Best shooter, production could not meet these ambitions. Bruckheimer told “In the first film, unfortunately, we had almost no cockpit shots, everything was a gamble, we could only use what Tom did.

“All the other actors were throwing up, their eyes were rolling.”

This time, Bruckheimer said, the actors, including a new class of young pilots played by Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Monica Barbaro, Danny Ramirez, Jay Ellis and Lewis Pullman, all had to push forward and take off.

“What you saw was true,” the legendary producer explained. “These were the actors who felt the G-powers. We needed to increase their tolerance, so it took three months. They started with the propeller, then it was the aerobatic, then the jet, and finally the F-18.

“It was really stressful. When they got down, they were soaked through. Every time they got up, they had to turn on the cameras, memorize where the light was, and then act. [their scenes]turn off the cameras and then go back down.

“We couldn’t see what they were doing there, we could only hear it. Once we reviewed the footage, if it was wrong, we immediately sent it back.”

Kosinski said Cruz personally developed a months-long training program for young actors, some of whom were initially afraid to fly and can now endure the physical challenges of flying the F-18 while also acting.

Cruise’s test flights helped the director, who worked with Cruise on oblivionconsider technical factors such as lens, camera position, eye line, and even visor shades.

And the fact that Cruz did everything first was a real boon for his fellow tragedians.

“Tom wouldn’t let any actor do something that he didn’t do first,” Kosinski said. “So these test flights were not only a learning process for us to capture how to make a film, I think it was for the young actors, seeing what it could be done and all kinds of methods they had to use to To make a movie. it’s off like him.

“Tom prepared them. Obviously it was still very difficult and some of them were still sick, but they were able to film all the scenes we needed.”

What is he doing Top Shooter: Maverick is the story of a senior pilot preparing the next generation for a perilous mission – the art of simulating life.

Top Gun: Maverick is in theaters Thursday, May 26th.

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