Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of the long-awaited “Top Gun” sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” wanted to his film to be a “love letter to aviation” – and as a result actor Tom Cruise and other cast members took on the real G-forces their characters would endure behind the controls of an F-18 Hornet.
In a new trailer for the film, released by Paramount Pictures, Bruckheimer said “we’re going to show you what it’s really like to be a Top Gun pilot.”
“You just can’t create this kind of experience unless you shoot it live,” Cruise said.
Cruise – who is reprising his 1986 role as the sequel’s titular character Navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell – described working with real pilots to perform the real-life shots.
Cruise reportedly caused a delay in the production of the sequel in order to get certified to fly fighter jets. A source for the film production told The Sun that Cruise would fly for some, but not all of the scenes.
“The producers would prefer not to put their leading man, not to mention their whole film, at risk. They also wouldn’t choose to have their long-awaited sequel delayed nearly a year, but despite the huge insurance costs, they are willing to do what it takes to ensure Tom is happy,” the source said.
Bruckheimer himself credited Cruise for motivating other members of the cast to perform inside a real fighter jet cockpit.
“It’s amazing what we see in the cockpit and what an audience is going to experience,” he said.
The film crew was able to get a six brand new camera system to capture Imax quality footage inside the cockpit of a Navy fighter jet.
“You can’t act that, the distortion of the face,” Cruise said, describing the conditions. “They’re pulling seven and a half, eight Gs. That’s 1600 pounds of force.”
Several of the actors can be seen throughout the trailer, passing out under the intense force, or trying to hold back vomit. Cruise himself can be seen towards the end of the trailer, trying to cope with a tight turn.
“Putting us up in these jets is very serious; that’s why everybody thought it would be impossible,” said actor Miles Teller, who is playing the son of the first film’s character, Goose. “I think when Tom [Cruise] here’s that it’s impossible or it can’t be done, that’s when he gets to work.”
The new film also included filming on location aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier.
The latest behind-the-scenes trailer comes just days after the release of a second cinematic trailer for the new film.
“Top Gun: Maverick” is set for a June 2020 release.