Top Gun

Everything We Know About Top Gun 3

Tom Cruise is flying high once more in Top Gun: Maverick. With its success comes the question of Top Gun 3. Here's everything we know of it happening.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick finally arrives in theaters 36 years after Top Gun, directed by the late Tony Scott, became a cultural phenomenon. Of course, Tom Cruise reprises one of his iconic signature roles, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, in Top Gun: Maverick, which also brings back Val Kilmer as Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky from the original film. Top Gun: Maverick also introduces new characters like Rooster (Miles Teller), the son of Goose (Anthony Edwards), Maverick’s deceased co-pilot.

Top Gun: Maverick brings Captain Maverick Mitchell back to Fightertown, USA, to train a new generation of pilots claiming to be “the best of the best.” The belated sequel examines Maverick’s distinguished but controversial Navy career through the eyes of high-ranking detractors like Admiral Chester “Hammer” Cain (Ed Harris) and Vice Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson (Jon Hamm). Maverick also has to prove that he’s more than a relic from the 1980s to hotshot new pilots like Lt. Jake “Hangman” Seresin and Lt. Natasha “Phoenix” Trace (Monica Barbaro). Plus Maverick has to resolve Rooster’s lifelong animosity over the death of his father in Top Gun, while a new love interest is introduced for Maverick in Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly).

With breathtaking aerial photography and steeped in nostalgia for the original Top Gun, Maverick moves the saga forward in a thrilling fashion delivering a crowd-pleasing theatrical experience that critics are saying exceeds its predecessor. As Maverick, Cruise proves he’s still in top form as the best pilot in the Navy, and the sequel does leave the door open for another. But will there be a Top Gun 3? Here’s everything we know so far.

Will Top Gun 3 Happen?

There are currently no plans for Top Gun 3. However, given its 97% Fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, glowing reviews, and the enthusiastic anticipation by audiences, Top Gun: Maverick is poised to be a massive blockbuster. It may even be hailed as one of Tom Cruise’s best movies. Naturally, everything is dependent on Top Gun: Maverick’s box office but it’s hard to imagine Paramount wouldn’t want to ramp up Top Gun 3 if Maverick is as big a hit as projected.

Top Gun 3 Cast: Who Will Return?

Top Gun 3 not starring Tom Cruise may be inconceivable, and if it happens, it’s very likely the ageless superstar would want to headline the next Top Gun. Maverick also successfully introduced new characters like Miles Teller’s Rooster, Glen Powell’s Hangman, and Jennifer Connelly’s Penny who could come back for a third Top Gun. Then again, Top Gun 3 could also bring in new pilots to join Maverick up in the air, although Teller reprising Rooster as Maverick’s new wingman seems like a no-brainer.

Top Gun 3 Story: What Maverick Sets Up

Top Gun 3 would inevitably feature a new mission that requires Maverick and the other pilots’ death-defying flying because Top Gun: Maverick’s central mission was successfully resolved. But Maverick did plant a seed for a potential new story because Admiral Cain planned to replace human pilots with a drone armada. Perhaps Top Gun 3 would pit Maverick and other human pilots against Cain’s drones to prove that man is superior to machine.

Top Gun 3 Release Date Prediction

Currently, Tom Cruise is still busy shooting the next two Mission: Impossible films with director Christopher McQuarrie, who is co-credited as a writer on Top Gun: Maverick’s screenplay. It wouldn’t be until Cruise has wrapped Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 2 that the movie star would be able to focus on Top Gun 3 if that is on his agenda. But that could change if Cruise and Paramount decide to move forward quickly with Top Gun 3.

It took 36 years for a Top Gun sequel to be made, in part, because Cruise waited for the technology to evolve that could fulfill his vision of how to film Top Gun: Maverick’s incredible aerial combat footage. But now that that technology is available, it won’t take another 36 years. Perhaps Top Gun 3 will hit theaters before the 2020s decade is out.


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