Six takeaways from the Top Gun: Maverick final trailer – and what they mean for the new Top Gun movie

The new Top Gun 2 trailer screamed across the web like an F-14 Tomcat at full throttle. But what did we learn from this three-minute thrill ride – and what does it mean for the new Top Gun movie?

From the incoming Top Gun 2 cast to the return of Val Kilmer in Top Gun, here are six key takeaways from the final Top Gun 2 trailer.

Top Gun: Maverick release date: May 27th

Glen Powell plays "Hangman" in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films

© 2022 Paramount Pictures.

New Blood (0:12)

Tom Cruise’s Maverick isn’t the first face we see in the new Top Gun 2 trailer.

In a dustbowl dive bar, a group of young recruits approach the pool table and are sized up by cocksure flight trainee ‘Hangman’ (Glen Powell).

“And here, I thought we were special,” he sneers, looking them up and down.

Much like Iceman in the original film, the Hangman character has the makings of a classic anti-hero, but his cohort are no doormats, including ‘Fanboy’ (Danny Ramirez), ‘Payback’ (Jay Ellis) and feisty ‘Phoenix’ (Monica Barbaro), who quickly shoots down the bully.

MONICA BARBARO PLAYS "PHOENIX" IN TOP GUN: MAVERICK FROM PARAMOUNT PICTURES, SKYDANCE AND JERRY BRUCKHEIMER FILMS.

© 2022 Paramount Pictures.

“Fellas, this here is Bagman…”

From Star Wars to Ghostbusters, all the big film franchises have futureproofed themselves with young casts in recent years, and this trailer opener suggests Top Gun 2 director Joseph Kosinski is doing some world-building of his own.

But Miles Teller – who plays Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw – tells Total Film that becoming a Top Gun 2 cast member is no picnic.

“We were all mini Toms making this movie. I'll just call it a Tom Cruise boot camp. He put us through the wringer.”

Iceman returns! (0:47)

We’ve seen his name on the Top Gun 2 cast list – but we didn’t quite believe Val Kilmer’s arrogant fighter pilot was back until he appeared in the new Top Gun 2 trailer.

For now, we’ve only seen a photo of Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky, who has seemingly risen up the ranks to become Admiral.

But the director’s comments to Total Film confirm the flesh-and-blood Kilmer will appear. “That was a huge, huge get – having Val come back to play Iceman.”

Monica Barbaro and Tom Cruise on the set of Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

© 2022 Paramount Pictures.

Most surprising is that Maverick’s old enemy has personally requested that he returns as a Top Gun instructor, against the wishes of his fellow officers. “Let me be perfectly blunt, you were not my first choice,” mutters Vice Admiral Cyclone (Jon Hamm). “You are here at the request of Admiral Kazansky. He seems to think you have something left to offer the Navy. What that is, I can't imagine.”

Has the uptight airman shelved his rivalry with the Cruiser’s character, or is it all an elaborate plan to finish Maverick off once and for all?

“The rivalry and relationship between Iceman and Maverick is one of those things that makes that first film so iconic,” says Kosinski. “It's a relationship that is important to the Top Gun franchise and as a fan I would want to see how it's evolved.”

Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

© 2022 Paramount Pictures.

Ghost In The Machine (0:58)

The Cruiser has always had a talent for silent intensity, and as Maverick stalks the skies in his F-14, there’s a haunted look in his eyes that’s a long way from the insolent young ace of the ’80s.

Remember: we don’t yet know what’s happened to the character in the past quarter-century-plus, or what caused the not-exactly-amicable split with the US military. But there are clearly demons in that cockpit.

“In so many ways, Maverick is still the guy that we remember from the first Top Gun,” Kosinski told Empire.

“He keeps that old Ninja [motorbike] under a tarp in the hangar and still wears those Ray-Ban aviators. He’s the best at what he does, and he’s given his whole life to aviation. But that has come as a personal cost, and Maverick has to confront some things from his past and reconcile with them. It’s a rite-of-passage story, much like the first film was. But this is a man now at a different stage of life.”

 


 

Aerial Assault (1:04)

The skirmishes from 1986’s Top Gun still hold up well, but the ensuing three decades have seen quantum leaps in film-making – and the new Top Gun movie is in a different league. In this new trailer, one of the best examples of Top Gun 2’s heart-stopping action sequences comes when Maverick gives a pair of rookies the mother of all wake-up calls, slicing between them in his F-14 with inches to spare. “Good morning, aviators!”

Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

© 2022 Paramount Pictures.

Or how about the audacious manoeuvre at 1:41 when the pilots buzz perilously below a giant bridge, avoiding the steel girders by a hair’s breadth. This is where Kosinski’s much-publicised filming techniques really pay the director back, with the six IMAX cameras mounted throughout the cockpit meaning you’ll genuinely believe you’re about to go down in a fireball of twisted steel.

“You can feel the authenticity,” Kosinski told Den Of Geek. “You can feel the strain, the G-forces, the speed…”

MILES TELLER PLAYS LT. BRADLEY "ROOSTER" BRADSHAW IN TOP GUN: MAVERICK FROM PARAMOUNT PICTURES, SKYDANCE AND JERRY BRUCKHEIMER FILMS.

© 2022 Paramount Pictures.

Old Grudge (1:44)

Kosinski says he considers Top Gun a “drama” more than an “action” movie, and the new Top Gun trailer runs with that concept. If you saw the original film, you’ll remember that Maverick always blamed himself for the tragic death of wingman Nick ‘Goose’ Bradshaw, who perished in a training exercise gone wrong.

Turns out, he’s not the only one. In the new Top Gun trailer’s most brutally emotional scene, Goose’s son reveals he’s carrying a major grudge against his pop’s old partner. “My dad believed in you,” says Rooster. “I’m not going to make the same mistake.”

“The relationship between Maverick and Rooster really forms the emotional core and spine of the film,” Kosinski told EW. “It was really one of the key reasons Tom felt that now is the time to go back and do this.”

Jay Ellis plays "Payback" in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

© 2022 Paramount Pictures.

Dogfight! (2:08)

It seems like the new Top Gun recruits won’t get long in a comfortable classroom.

As a fighter jet rockets past a bewildered Rooster’s F-14, it’s clear this is no training exercise but a life or death dogfight.

We’re no experts in military hardware, but the rival plane has been identified as a Russian SU-57 – raising major implications about who the enemy will be in the new Top Gun movie.

Questions remain, but one thing is clear. In Top Gun 2, even being the best of the best might not be enough.

And as we learn from the funeral scene at 2:04, not everyone will be making it home alive on the Top Gun 2 release date of May 27th.

Welcome back to the danger zone.

 


 

Top Gun: Maverick is released May 27th

Read our Top Gun: Maverick preview

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