Director Joseph Kosinski said he only had 30 minutes to convince Tom Cruise to star in Top Gun: Maverick.
He revealed that Cruise “really didn’t feel like doing a sequel to the hit 1986 blockbuster, and Kosinski caught up with the actor in Paris, where he only had half an hour to pitch the project.
“So I read the script, I had some ideas and Jerry [Bruckheimer] liked these ideas. He said, ‘You know what, you have to propose that to Tom right away,'” Kosinski told Polygon.
“We flew to Paris where Tom was filming ‘Mission: Impossible,’ we had about half an hour of his time between takes.”
“And I had basically 30 minutes to introduce this film, which I wasn’t aware of when we flew over. But once I got there, I realized that Tom really didn’t want to do another Top Gun,” he explained.
“It’s one of those moments as a director, with every film there’s one where you argue on the spot why this film should be made. I had 30 minutes to do it,” he told the outlet.
After Kosinski finished his pitch, he recalled Cruise picking up the phone and calling the Paramount Pictures chief.
“We’re doing another Top Gun,” Cruise told executives, according to Kosinski.
Kosinski said it was “pretty impressive to see the power of a real movie star in that moment.”
The director also revealed why the film is titled Top Gun: Maverick and not a sequel to the first film.
“I just came up with the title, you know, which I think summed it all up,” he told Polygon. “We’re not going to call it ‘Top Gun 2,’ we’re going to call it ‘Top Gun: Maverick.'”
He added that the film is a “character-driven story, a drama with this huge action film around it. And that, to me, was what a Top Gun movie is.”
In its first three days in North American theaters, the long-in-progress sequel has earned an estimated $124 million in ticket sales, Paramount Pictures said Sunday. Including international screenings, the worldwide total is US$248 million.
The build-up was equally eye-catching, with fighter-jet decked premieres on an aircraft carrier in San Diego and at the Cannes Film Festival, where Cruise was also awarded an honorary Palme d’Or, and a royal premiere in London by Prince William and his wife Kate.