Okay, now you’re just kidding, right?
Over the years, I’ve found myself outside looking in on all sorts of giant blockbuster hits, amazed at those moments when something I can’t find any appeal in whatsoever becomes a pop culture phenomenon. Case in point: “Top Gun.” I think the film is a hilariously dated music video about a man, his plane, his half-naked oiled friends, and a woman he has absolutely no chemistry with. But for many people, “Top Gun” is one of the flashpoints of the ’80s, a beloved favorite. In the recent comedy “Going The Distance,” Justin Long’s character harbors an almost creepy degree of love for the film. Quentin Tarantino famously riffed on the movie in “Sleep With Me,” calling it out for the Riefenstahl-style fetishized man meat parade that it is. It is one of those films that you can reference and pretty much everyone’s seen it or seen part of it or at least heard of it. It is fundamental.
I’d never heard his name before reading the story about how the “Top Gun” sequel seems to be coming together, but he is evidently the 27-year-old son of Larry Eliison, who is the world’s sixth-richest man. Ellison the Younger recently put together a $350 million fund that he plans to use to make movies with Paramount, including “Mission: Impossible 4.”
Who’s starring in that one again?
Oh, yeah, that’s right. Tom Cruise. And Tom Cruise happens to be good friends with Christopher “Valkyrie” McQuarrie, who is currently King Hot Shit because his “Wolverine 2” script is reportedly so good, and McQuarrie had an idea for how to put together a “Top Gun 2” that reflects the new reality of the military aviation industry, which is nothing like it was in 1986. David Ellison, being a giant aviation nerd in general, and a giant “Top Gun” nerd specifically, is evidently ready to pony up to make his “Top Gun 2” dreams come true.
My question is whether the audience really wants that sequel. No matter what the film is, it won’t look anything like the original film did. It will be a completely different tone and soundtrack and style and at that point, why exactly are they making a “Top Gun 2”?
Obviously, everything ’80s is new again, and not just at Paramount where they’re currently making “Footloose” with Craig Brewer. This summer was a toe into the ’80s nostalgia pool, with “The A-Team” in theaters, and these several-decades-later sequels seem to be happening more and more, although I think this one’s more along the lines of a “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” than a “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.”
“Top Gun” was basically just the Coca-Cola commercial version of “An Officer And A Gentleman,” and I can’t imagine a sequel to that one, either.
Still, if David Ellison’s already got offers out to Tony Scott and Jerry Bruckheimer and a real commitment from Tom Cruise to reprise his role as Maverick, then there’s a good chance we’ll actually see this thing in theaters.
We’ll keep you posted.
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