25 Facts About The Success Of Top Gun: Maverick

Image Source: IMDb

#1 A Miracle Sequel

As a sequel to the 1986 Top Gun film, Top Gun: Maverick is nothing short of a miracle. It is a miracle simply because it shouldn’t have been possible. Top Gun: Maverick is set 36 years apart from the first Top Gun film.

The actors for the 1986 Top Gun were already getting old, Tom Cruise himself was getting old. He was around 21 years old when he worked on the first film. Now, Tom Cruise is 60 years old. He should have been 55+ during the filming of the movie which is absolutely bonkers.

Even amidst this time and age constraints, the production crew (and Tom) still managed to beat the odds and hired the right people. They even made Top Gun: Maverick astronomically better compared to the first film.

#2 A Budget Miracle

Top Gun: Maverick was a hard or maybe even impossible sequel to pull off. Many would assume that the budget for the film must have flown above the atmosphere- however, such is not the case.

The film only had around $170 million as a budget, not exactly a small amount- but still, that is like 30 millions below compared to the latest Matrix movie.

#3 Old-School Masterpiece

Many would consider Top Gun: Maverick as a silent tribute to the old school style of cinematography. The film had that kind of air which gives off a nostalgic feeling like in the cinemas during the 80’s. A type of cinematography where everything was kept simple and clean but also at the same time jam-packed with content, emotion, and action.

#4 Perfect Execution

One of the biggest factor that led to the popularity of the film was the execution in production. The entire film was perfectly executed. The sound design, the atmosphere, the action and jet sequence; the crew nailed all of these elements when they were doing it which led to people loving the film.

#5 A True Classic

The film didn’t show any drugs, gore, crazy partying, gratuitous sex, and all other f*cked up things we often see nowadays. Instead, what we got was raw, tear-jerking emotional content coupled with fast, suspenseful fighter jet action scenes.

#6 Chinese Handicap

When Tencent backed out as a funder for the film production, their request to remove the Japanese and Taiwanese flag emblems on Maverick’s jacket were re-implemented. This, among other reasons, caused the film to be banned in China. There are a lot of people on China and a lot of money could have been made if the film was released there, but even amidst the ban, the film still reached more than $1 billion in the box office.

#7 Made With Love

The people who worked on the movie definitely gave it their best efforts. Tom Cruise also gave it more than his hundred percent. Aside from playing as the protagonist in the film, Tom Cruise himself was “in deep” with the filming as he personally calls the film a “love letter” to aviaton.

Tom was involved in many parts of the filming sequence and he is most notable for being the one who insisted that the production should avoid CGI and other computer generated effects. He suggested that they should just take it easy with the CGI and instead use practical effects even if it makes things a bit more difficult.

#8 The Dedication

According to TV Tropes, all the actors that had to ride the jets were trained to withstand higher G-forces while riding. They were riding F-18 fighter jets which the production company had rented from the US Navy. A trick which they used to record themselves was that they used a two-seat fighter jet where the actor would sit on the back-seat while they pretend to fly the aircraft.

#9 Raw Emotional Content

Jerry Bruckheimer (a producer of the film) specifically mentioned that the reason why many people loved the show was that it was a “real” movie. All the actors had to train hard to be able to fly in the fighter jets, this is something that goes a bit way beyond their job description as actors. You could see and feel that they are really doing it with real emotional content as they work as actors for the show.

#10 A Nice Distraction

With all the superhero CGI movies coming out nowadays, Top Gun: Maverick’s realistic themes may have served as a great distraction from the norm. This unique attribute of the movie may have been one of the factors that led to the success of the movie as people wanted to see something new and different.

#11 No Hype Train

Many people on the internet speculate that the lack of hype regarding the sequel contributed to the success of the movie. Since there was no hype, expectations were low and nobody expected it to be good.

#12 Long Reach

In some countries, even though it has already been almost 2 months since the release of the movie, people are still going to cinemas and watching the film. Most movies tend to dwindle down after a month after their release date. Marvel movies usually last around a month and a half before it starts to collapse in view count. Top Gun: Maverick is showing an absurd reach potential despite being a sequel that isn’t known by many people.

#13 Tom Cruise Highlight

Tom Cruise, a distinguished American actor and producer, was very passionate when he worked as a protagonist for the show. Top Gun: Maverick became the by-product of Tom’s decade of experience in filmography. From a young age of 18, Tom had already been exposed to talented actors, directors and writers. All those time he spent as an actor and producer have led to the creation of the Top Gun sequel, a film that is probably going to be the number one highlight of his career.

#14 Keeping It Real with Uncle Sam

Due to the film’s militaristic nature, it served as an indirect advertisement for the military, especially the United States Navy. This led to the US Defense Department giving way for the production crew to film on US military bases and on aircraft carriers. Of course, not all of these were given for free. The production team had to pay for the aircrafts which they used to do their stunts, they paid around $11,000 per hour for the F/A – 18E Super Hornets.

#15 Allegorized

In one quote when Cain was talking to Maverick, Cain’s line was an allegory to a dying style of cinematography, a genre that Top Gun: Maverick belongs in.

The quote goes like this:

“The end is inevitable, Maverick. Your kind is headed for extinction.”

#16 Hans Zimmer’s Touch

According to TV Tropes, in the first Top Gun movie, it was Harold Faltermeyer who took care of the musical score for the movie. In Top Gun: Maverick he reprised that role but this time he has brought a backup, Hans Zimmer, the legend himself.

#17 Japanese Favorite

According to TV Tropes, the movie was a big hit in Japan, scoring around 82 million US dollar in the box officeAug.21.2022. Tom Cruise is a popular celebrity in Japan so that probably had been a factor to this outcome.

#18 Indirect Advertising

According to TV Tropes, before a screening of the film in France, the French navy made a very smart move by putting an enlistment ad for their naval aviation branch.

#19 Tom Cruise Show Off

During the last minutes of the film, just before the credits rolled in, Tom Cruise can be seen riding a P-51 plane into the sunset. The P-51 is owned by Tom Cruise. Tom usually does show-offs like this one in most of his films.

#20 OG Pilot

According to TV Tropes, in the original version of the sequel (the one where the actors didn’t really train themselves to handle a jet G-force), all the actors who went into the fighter jets had a rough time and got sick once the aircraft took off. Only Tom Cruise was able withstand the effects because Tom is already a pilot and had already done it before.

#21 Solo Film Making

While filming inside the aircraft, the actors were the ones who had to direct themselves because the crew cannot be together with them inside the cockpit. The actors also had to manage and operate the camera themselves while they are mid-air, this made the filming process difficult for the team.

#22 Pandemic Handicap

Top Gun: Maverick was released during a time where a global pandemic is still going on, leading to a loss in potential sales of the movie. Imagine the amount of money this movie could accumulate in the theatres if there was no pandemic.

#23 Movie and Real Life Parallels

In the movie, Tom Cruise plays as Maverick. Maverick is tasked with teaching a group of young and gifted pilots so they can accomplish a very important and very dangerous mission.

In the film production, Tom Cruise personally sponsored the flight training of the actors so that they can do well during the filming of the movie.

#24 Manipulated Story

In the story or the script of the film, the character “Iceman” was made to have a throat cancer or some sort of throat disease. This was done because the actor who played Iceman, Val Kilmer, suffers from throat cancer making him almost unable to speak. His voice in the film was not real. The voice was generated using artificial intelligence.

#25 Nerd Friendly

All of the fighter jets in the movie are historically accurate, except for the Darkstar, the one which Maverick used to go above Mach 10. A lot of fighter jet nerds come to love this fact as they let their imagination run free while watching these multimillion dollar jets in action.



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An avid writer and a research enthusiast, I have worked in different fields of content creation including Novel, Informational, and Technical Writing. My experience taught me that working as a writer without love for research is like creating a document file without using a keyboard... Or maybe writing on a piece of paper using an inkless pen... or maybe both.

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