Top Gun: Maverick has been delayed once again, this time being pushed six months from its planned release date of November 19, 2021, into May of 2022. The long-awaited sequel, which will see Tom Cruise reprise one of his most iconic roles as fighter pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, has been one of the worst-affected films of the covid-19 pandemic. Top Gun: Maverick is directed by Joseph Kosinski and costars Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, and Val Kilmer.
The first Top Gun was one of the biggest cinematic sensations of the 1980s, largely because of the revolutionary cinematography used to bring the film’s flight sequences to life. The performance from Cruise, Kilmer and Kelly McGillis became equally iconic, as did the film’s illustrious soundtrack. Talk of a Top Gun 2 circulated for years before the official confirmation of Maverick, fanning excitement among fans of the original. Unfortunately, the film has been plagued by delays, keeping it from the big screen time and time again.
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Sadly, the curse of delays has struck Top Gun: Maverick once again. Per THR’s Aaron Couch, the film’s release date has been pushed from November 19, 2021, to May 27, 2022. That’s a delay of six months – another huge strike against a film that has struggled from the beginning to reach audiences. With luck, the new delay won’t dampen the excitement around Top Gun 2 too severely.
Top Gun: Maverick was originally meant to release on July 12, 2019. After the start of the coronavirus pandemic, that date was pushed to June 26, 2020, then to December 23, 2022, July 2, 2021, and eventually to November 19, 2021. Now that the November date has also been pushed, the movie won’t be arriving until nearly three years after it was originally intended to premiere. And there’s still no guarantee that May 27, 2022 will be the actual release date, as the movie could of course get delayed once again in the coming months.
A movie like Top Gun 2 really demands a theatrical experience to maximize what makes it special, so it makes sense that Paramount wants to give it the best release window possible. But three years is a long time, and its possible that the fervor that initially surrounded the film may have faded somewhat with the repeated delays. There’s no doubt that Top Gun: Maverick will arrive in cinemas eventually, but with its earliest debut now on May 27, 2022, fans still have a long time to wait.
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Why Val Kilmer Originally Didn’t Want To Do Top Gun?
Amidst Top Gun’s enduring popularity, Val Kilmer (Iceman) revealed in a documentary the reasons why he originally didn’t want to do the film.
The ’80s classic Top Gun is easily one of the most memorable films in the last several decades, but supporting actor Val Kilmer almost didn’t appear in it! Released in 1986, the movie was directed by Tony Scott with the screenplay written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr. (its story was inspired by the California magazine article “Top Guns”). It follows Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) and his RIO, Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards) as they begin training at the US Navy’s Fighter Weapons School at the Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.
Kilmer played the role of Tom “Iceman” Kazanksy — one of the skilled pilots at TOPGUN. Upon Maverick’s arrival, the pair quickly became rivals since both wanted to emerge at the top of their group. Known for his sarcastic remarks, cocky demeanor, and overly-competitive spirit, Kilmer was one of the stand-outs in the movie despite technically portraying a supporting character. After Maverick lost Goose in a tragic accident during one of their flying sessions, Iceman eventually became his wingman. More than three decades since the blockbuster hit theaters, the much-anticipated sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, is finally set to release with Kilmer reprising his role.
As it turns out, however, the 61-year-old actor almost didn’t play Iceman. During Amazon’s new documentary Val, wherein Kilmer personally tells his life story, he recalls how he didn’t want to be in Top Gun. According to him, he “felt the script was silly and disliked warmongering films.” Having just finished acting school at the famed Juilliard conservatory, the actor wasn’t particularly keen on starring in an action movie. Perhaps he was more inclined in tackling dramatic roles, and the Scott-directed flick simply didn’t fit the bill. However, having the same agent as Top Gun star Cruise, Kilmer was forced to at least attend a meeting with the filmmaker. While he did sabotage his audition, as he revealed in his memoir, I’m Your Huckleberry, he still got the part saying: ” I read the lines indifferently and yet, amazingly, I was told I had the part. I felt more deflated than inflated.”
Top Gun became Kilmer’s third feature-length film role after Top Secret! (1984) and Real Genius (1985). It’s also undoubtedly one of his best-known works. It catapulted him to mainstream popularity and made him a certified blockbuster celebrity. But, landing the role of Iceman wasn’t exactly a welcome development for the actor. He was “under contract with the studio,” so he needed to honor it by starring in the movie. Fortunately, he changed his mind once he started working with Top Gun’s director, Scott. The actor cited the filmmaker’s “colorful vision and energy” that “made the whole experience enjoyable.”
Interestingly, Kilmer was the one who reached out to Cruise when he heard that Top Gun: Maverick was in the works. The actor previously revealed that he begged to reprise his Top Gun role in the upcoming Joseph Kosinski sequel. Plot details are still tightly under wraps for the new blockbuster, and marketing for it has purposefully hidden Iceman, not featuring him in any of the trailers. But whatever his role in it turns out to be, it’s safe to say that Kilmer is thankful he was essentially coerced into being in the 1986 movie.