Beyond Top Gun: Maverick’s obvious wow factor, what mattered most to Kosinski was the emotional core–the strength, heart, and conflict–instilled into the characters.
“For me, the way into that was through this story of Rooster [the son of Goose], who is played by Miles Teller,” Kosinski says. “That was the thing that felt like the storyline that we would be able to sink our hooks into emotionally and the thing that would get Tom excited about getting into this character again.”
It’s been 35 years since Maverick donned his Ray Ban sunglasses and indulged his need for speed. So, where’s he been? What’s he been up to all this time?
Kosinski spent plenty of time pondering those very questions. No spoilers here, but he does propose that, “Maverick is still Maverick.” That means a passionate guy known for pushing the boundaries and, yes, sometimes people’s buttons. But Maverick is at a different stage in life now, and the trainees often echo his glory days… for better or for worse.
“For Maverick, to see these pilots at the age he was in the first film, and the way they interact with each other and the excitement and love of aviation, but also the willingness to put themselves in danger’s way, certainly reminds him of the way he was,” Kosinski explains. “He has a lot of experience and loss along the way, to give him some context on that. When he sees Rooster, the son of his old wingman, that brings back a flood of memories and emotions that he hasn’t thought about in a while.”
Top Gun revolutionized how aerial sequences were shot, and inspired by GoPro videos from Navy pilots, the sequel promises even more extreme F/A-18 Super Hornet acrobatics. And given Cruise’s panache for performing his own stunts, he and the cast strapped in.