Tom Cruise will compete against robotic drone pilots in the long-gestating sequel to Top Gun, according to Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of the 1986 original.
Bruckheimer said Top Gun 2 would update the world of aviation to reflect modern realities, with Cruise positioned as an old-school pilot fighting to prove that man will always triumph over machine.
“The concept is, basically: are the pilots obsolete because of drones? Cruise is going to show them that they’re not obsolete. They’re here to stay,” Bruckheimer told the Huffington Post. He said the sequel was moving closer to reality despite a 28-year gap since the late Tony Scott’s original movie hit cinemas.
“We’ve been trying to get that movie made for 30 years, and I think we’re getting closer and closer,” said Bruckheimer. “Don [Simpson, fellow producer] and I tried to develop something; we didn’t succeed. Cruise took over, and he tried to develop something, and he didn’t succeed. Now we’re back at it.”
Cruise signalled on Sunday at the Empire film awards that a Top Gun sequel is in active development. The followup had looked unlikely to see the light of day after Scott’s death in August 2012.
The original film saw Cruise as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a talented, loose-cannon US Navy pilot training at an elite centre in San Diego. Scott said in 2010 that his proposed sequel would centre on drones, though Cruise was at that point expected to take only a supporting role.
“These computer geeks, these kids play war games in a trailer in Fallon, Nevada, and if we ever went to war or were in the Middle East or the far east or wherever it is, these guys can actually fly drones,” said the film-maker. “They are unmanned aircraft. They operate them and then they party all night.”