Top Gun Maverick: Did Tom Cruise fly a fighter jet for real?

Top Gun Maverick: Did Tom Cruise fly a fighter jet for real?
Paramount

Addicted to stunts, the star was not allowed to take control of an F-18 Super Hornet. Here are the reasons.

Top Gun: Maverick out in theaters today. 36 years after the original film, Tom Cruise returns as the daredevil airline pilot, this time to train a new generation. As in 1986, the star had a blast preparing this film, chaining training flights to be able to interpret again this character who feels “the need for speed”. “Further, higher, faster, stronger”the creed of Top Gun has been respected, and a maximum of sequences have been shot “in truth”as he told Empire. The only prohibition for Tom and the other actors in the film: piloting a fighter plane themselves.

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The director ofoblivion and Tron: Legacy, Joseph Kosinski, has tried to stage a maximum of sequences in real life, Cruise having wanted to avoid the use of CGI as much as possible. As in the saga Impossible mission, each new episode of which presents new and crazier stunt challenges, he hoped to be able to pilot one of these machines capable of spinning at 1915 km / h himself, but it is the army of the American air force which refused to take the controls of an F-18 Super Hornet. And for good reason: each fighter of this type costs 70 million dollars to the army, and therefore to the Americans, since the funds come from taxes.

This refusal did not prevent the team, led by Tom Cruise, from climbing aboard fighter planes to shoot several aerial sequences. It’s just that a seasoned pilot was at the controls and the cast and crew members were in the back of the aircraft. The star pilots a plane in person in the film, a North American P-51 Mustang, for a sequence where he embarks Jennifer Connelly. This one belongs to him, and he personally asked the director to film on board: both are passionate about speed, and this idea came up very early on the project.

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In this regard, here is an extract from the new issue of First (n°530) of which Tom Cruise is precisely on the cover for Top Gun: Maverick. We come back in detail on its long production, and on this desire to shoot action scenes “for real”with the star always wanting to impress audiences more, film after film.

(…) But whether with McGillis or Connelly, with or without Val Kilmer, Top Gun: Maverick totally remains a Tom Cruise movie. Which is a genre in itself, of which McQuarrie is the master: “Chris has done more movies with him than anyone. He’s the expert on the “Tom Cruise genre”. In my opinion, he understands it intimately”, explains Kosinski. And what is the “like Tom Cruise” ? “Just putting Tom in a movie radically changes the project. When audiences go to see a Tom Cruise movie, they expect a certain level of quality…” And at some level of technical challenges. Of course, cameras were installed in real jets, and the actors underwent military training to take in the face of brutal changes in gravity due to acceleration. Normal, since the film was shot for real, Kosinski having been inspired by YouTube videos where pilots film themselves during their aerial evolutions using GoPro cameras. “I said to the studio, ‘You have no idea how difficult the film is going to be to make. No one has done anything like this”explained Tom Cruise to Empire. The storytelling of the promotion joins that of the film: a gigantic spectacle where we play for real with natural forces, the landscape, gravity. His film horizon is that of super-performance: Kosinski boasts of having filmed “800 hours of rushes” during the aviation scenes, either “as much as for the Lord of the Rings trilogy”. Further, higher, faster, stronger. McQuarrie recently summed up the intention of Top Gun: Maverick : “I want movie snobs to go see the movie, even those who say Top Gun is nothing but a money machine. I dare you not to shiver. To not have wet eyes. Not to sweat during the third act…” (to be continued)

To learn more about the production of Top Gun: Mavericksee you on newsstands: the 530th issue of First is now available.

Summary of Premiere n°530: Tom Cruise, Top Gun 2, Jeff Goldblum, Donnie Yen, David Cronenberg, Jessie Buckley…

The Story of Top Gun: Maverick: After being one of the best fighter pilots in the United States Navy for more than thirty years, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell continues to push his limits as a test pilot. would force him to give up flying. He is tasked with training a detachment of young Top Gun school graduates for a special mission that no pilot would ever have imagined. During this mission, Maverick meets Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw , the son of his late friend, navigator Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. Faced with an uncertain future, haunted by his ghosts, Maverick will have to face his worst nightmares during a mission that will require the greatest of sacrifices.

Trailer :

Cannes 2022: Tom Cruise received a Palme d’Honneur at the presentation of Top Gun: Maverick

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