Navy shot down Tom Cruise’s F-18 flying, but he still found speed in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Tom Cruise has the need for speed and flies most anything that can fly in “Top Gun: Maverick.”

But in one of the first interviews given about the much-anticipated “Top Gun” sequel (due in theaters June 24), producer Jerry Bruckheimer confirms that Cruise doesn’t pilot Maverick’s F-18.

The Navy said no to this civilian request. Even coming from Cruise.

“The Navy wouldn’t let him fly an F-18,” Bruckheimer tells Empire magazine. “But he flies a P-51 in the movie and he flies helicopters. He can do just about anything in an airplane.”

Fans can expect thrilling action sequences in the sequel of 1986’s “Top Gun,” (already glimpsed in the trailers) thanks to IMAX cameras placed in the F-18 cockpits flown by top Navy pilots. Cruise and co-stars Miles Teller and Glen Powell were put through aerial boot camp before cameras started rolling. 

“When you’re pulling heavy Gs, it compresses your spine, your skull. It makes some people delirious. Some people can’t handle it,” said Cruise, who, as a producer on the film, arranged for his co-stars’ intense training. “So I had to get them up to be able to sustain high Gs. Because they have to act in the plane. I can’t have them sick the whole time.”

“You will experience what it’s like to be in an F-18 in that cockpit with those pilots,” promised Bruckheimer.

Although movie studios have cleared out much of the upcoming releases in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Paramount Studios has maintained the June 24 release date for “Maverick.”

Few top secret plot specifics from the Chris McQuarrie-penned screenplay were dropped in the interview. But Cruise is continuing to promise an edge-of-the-seat theater experience. 

“I said to the studio, you don’t know how hard this movie is going to be,” said Cruise. “No one has ever done this before. There’s never been an aerial sequence shot this way.”

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