With 1000 douchey frat guys dressing like Maverick and Ice Man every Halloween for the past 10 years (many of them good friends of mine), it was only a matter of time before one of them would go to work for a studio and bring back Top Gun. Which is exactly what Vulture is reporting, saying Paramount has put out offers to Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott, and hoping Chris McQuarrie (Usual Suspects, Valkyrie, The Tourist) will write the script, with a smaller role for Tom Cruise. It would have to be a different kind of script if set in the present, since the old Top Gun School in Miramar, outside San Diego, on which the original was based, has moved to Fallon, Nevada, which will really deflate a guy’s beach volleyball.
YOU CAN RIDE MY TAIL ANY TIME, VULTURE:
At a junket for Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Bruckheimer let slip that he had been “recently approached again to start talking about [a sequel]” but noted that “the aviation community has completely changed since we made the movie a long time ago.” Since 1986, the TOPGUN syllabus has been changed so the focus is far less on the spectacular and dramatic air-to-air dogfights that defined Top Gun and far more about teaching U.S. pilots to drop very large bombs on very small ground targets.
But we’re told by a source close to the project that McQuarrie — who is friendly with Cruise — has found a way to incorporate Maverick, and what’s more, we hear that Cruise has agreed to take a smaller role in the film, provided it’s not too “obvious” a part.
We’re told that a big part of the reason [for a sequel] is the influence of David Ellison, the 27-year-old son of Oracle Corp. founder — and world’s sixth-richest man — Larry Ellison. Despite being only 3 years old when Top Gun first strafed theaters, Ellison clearly became a big fan of the film on VHS, and went on to become both an aerobatic pilot and instrument-rated commercial pilot before attending USC’s film school and then launching his own production company, Skydance. His first production was the 2006 World War I drama Flyboys, in which he also starred.
It would be an interesting move for Bruckheimer, who’s been doing nothing but horrendous piles of farts for like 15 years now. If it’s hard to reconcile today’s Bruckheimer with the guy listed as a producer on Top Gun, Crimson Tide, Days of Thunder, and The Rock, that’s because 99% of the movies Jerry Bruckheimer produced that weren’t terrible were with his old partner, Don Simpson, who died of a drug overdose in 1996. Vulture wonders if this possible Paramount project is Bruckheimer’s way of testing the waters away from Disney, where he’s produced most of his terrible movies since 2000.
Either way, I really like Top Gun so I hope this works out. I love it when they bring old stuff back. In fact, I hope Paramount builds us a beach house in 1986, and we can all stay there doing coke and playing beach volleyball and worrying about the Russians, and Kelly McGillis would never age and Tom Cruise could tend the rabbits and live off the fat of the land.