Tom Cruise’s long-delayed “Top Gun: Maverick” is finally set to blast off in theaters later this month, but making a follow-up to his classic 1986 action drama was not always of interest. A 1990 interview Cruise gave to Playboy magazine during the publicity tour for “Born on the Fourth of July” has resurfaced from Gizmodo and finds the A-list star calling the idea of making a “Top Gun” sequel “irresponsible.” Cruise was responding to the interviewer calling “Top Gun” a “Nintendo game and a paean to blind patriotism” in comparison to “Born on the Fourth of July.”
“Some people felt that ‘Top Gun’ was a right-wing film to promote the Navy. And a lot of kids loved it. But I want the kids to know that that’s not the way war is — that ‘Top Gun’ was just an amusement park ride, a fun film with a PG-13 rating that was not supposed to be reality,” Cruise said. “That’s why I didn’t go on and make ‘Top Gun II’ and III and IV and V. That would have been irresponsible.”
Tony Scott’s “Top Gun” is a fictional story in which Cruise plays a young naval aviator training at the US Navy’s Fighter Weapons School at Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif. Oliver Stone’s “Born on the Fourth of July” is an anti-war drama based on the real life of Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic.
“They are two different things,” Cruise said in his Playboy interview. “‘Top Gun’ is a joy ride and shouldn’t be looked at beyond that. ‘Born’ is about real people and real events. ‘Top Gun’ should be looked at as going on Space Mountain — it’s like a simple fairy tale…Let’s look at the reality of what I am saying — where my beliefs lie. I didn’t have anything riding on ‘Top Gun.’ The fact is, I really want people to see ‘Born on the Fourth of July ‘— it’s a movie that had to be made.”
Cruise is reprising his “Top Gun” role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the sequel. “Top Gun: Maverick” finds Cruise’s character in a mentor role as he trains a group of younger Top Gun graduates played by the likes of Miles Teller, Glen Powell and more. Teller stars as Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, a pilot trainee who is the son of Maverick’s late best friend Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. Paramount Pictures will release “Top Gun: Maverick” in U.S. theaters on May 27.