Theatrical release “Top Gun: Maverick”: Exciting facts about the cult predecessor from 1986

Theatrical Release “Top Gun: Maverick”
Exciting facts about the cult predecessor from 1986

There are more than 35 years between these two pictures: Tom Cruise in “Top Gun” (right) and its successor “Top Gun: Maverick”.

© imago images/Everett Collection / © 2022 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All rights reserved.

On May 26, 2022, “Top Gun: Maverick” will finally be released in German cinemas. Here is the memory of why the predecessor matured into a cult film.

The German cinema market has a long and not always creditable tradition of giving foreign films an emphatically funny or emphatically martial nickname. And so, from today’s perspective, it’s not surprising that on August 7, 1986, the film “Top Gun” and the appendix “You fear neither death nor the devil” hit German screens.

With the successor “Top Gun: Maverick”, which finally starts on May 26, 2022 and after countless postponements, the title is meanwhile reflecting on the fact that it has been written more and more faithfully to the original – and involuntarily omitting funny nicknames. Here are some exciting facts about the 80s pearl with Tom Cruise (59), which explain why “Top Gun” still leads various cult to “Guilty Pleasure” lists – and is even seen as a pioneer for gay blockbuster cinema .

With friendly support

Hard to believe, but “Top Gun” only devoured a budget of around 15 million dollars – and grossed over 350 million dollars. However, the fact that this was possible was also due to the friendly support of the United States Navy. The Department of Defense freed up logistical and financial resources to put its fighter pilots in the right spotlight. Similar to how “Cast Away” is often referred to as a two-hour FedEx commercial, there are prophecies of doom that “Top Gun” was nothing more than a Hollywood-format recruiting spot.

The pacifist Bryan Adams

Apparently, cuddly rocker Bryan Adams (62) saw it that way. He was supposed to sing the iconic title track “Danger Zone” and was also asked if he could contribute his song “Only the Strong Survive” to the soundtrack. However, Adams declined on the grounds that he believed the film glorified war and therefore wanted nothing to do with it. And so Kenny Loggins (74) sang the “Danger Zone” in his place and in the best 80s manner.

Camaraderie meets homoeroticism

“You know what’s one of the greatest damn screenplays ever written in Hollywood history? ‘Top Gun’!” – Director Quentin Tarantino (59) enthuses in his guest appearance in the 1994 film “Sleep With Me”. It is not primarily a story about fighter pilots, but “about a man who struggles with his own homosexuality”. This is shown again and again by Maverick’s quarrel with competitor Iceman (Val Kilmer, 62) and their final “declaration of love”: “You can always be my wingman” – “Nonsense, you can be mine!”

The notorious volleyball scene, in which the oiled and shirtless fighter pilots compete against each other, also ensured that “Top Gun” is celebrated as part of gay cinema. A circumstance that, according to producer Jerry Bruckheimer (78), was not intended, but which makes him proud. And when such an accolade comes from Quentin Tarantino, “it’s always a compliment,” said Bruckheimer “Indie Wire”.

Body horror in the fighter jet?

It wasn’t missing much, and “Top Gun” might have gone in a completely different direction. Because it was originally intended that Canadian director David Cronenberg (79) would ban the film on screen. He has always been considered an icon of body horror, in the same year as “Top Gun” came out his Oscar-winning shocker “The Fly”.

Why he ultimately turned it down has he just recently narrated “Variety” again: “‘Top Gun’ is about American military stuff. It’s true that I like machines, I like cars and I like airplanes. But it just wasn’t something I was interested in. Directing takes at least two years of your life . If you watch it, it takes two hours.” Instead, Tony Scott (1944-2012) ended up directing it.


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