Despite the fact that Top Gun: Maverick has been delayed a year, it seems that behind the scenes work is continuing unabated.
Film and camera crews were deployed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln operating with Joint Strike Fighters and Super Hornets in the Atlantic…and now it appears that a custom painted F/A-18F Super Hornet with Pete Mitchell’s name and Topgun titles on it has emerged from the hanger.
The images have appeared on the RevengeOfTheFans site and while there is a chance they might have been faked…it doesn’t look like it.
The jet has Topgun’s iconic seal on its tail, which means it would belong to the Naval Air Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) at NAS Fallon. So it looks like Maverick is an instructor at the school, which is not surprising.
The centerline tank that is painted like the jet has ‘Topgun’ written on it – the actual correct way of spelling of the Navy Fighter Weapons School’s nickname. The movie took the artistic license to rename it ‘Top Gun.’
As noted on The War Zone, they could always ditch the tank for production, but it makes sense to paint it with the real name on the government’s dime so that the jet can be flown normally by the school without the discrepancy.
The scheme is a bit odd, with the light blue stripes, but it looks nice. The three Hornets painted on the side of the cockpit are also a bit puzzling, but in the original movie, Maverick shoots down three ‘MiG-28s’ during the final dogfight scene. Maybe that’s what they are supposed to signify.
It’s also an interesting, albeit far-fetched choice to give Maverick his own highly unique looking jet, but it’s Top Gun we are talking about here. It’s also possible that this is just a big publicity maneuver.
Tom Cruise at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth TX yesterday getting fitted for his flight suit in the upcoming Top Gun II pic.twitter.com/Qo3oQEeUxD
— The Deplorable D.A.N. 💥🔥🇺🇸🇮🇱 (@dktice70) September 7, 2018
Miles Teller, which is going to co-star in the film as Maverick’s young counterpart, recently spent some time at Naval Air Station Fallon, the home of Topgun, checking out the jets and getting a feel for the culture. Tyler Rogoway of The War Zone writes that he has got two direct reports on this from aircrew at Fallon saying he has been all over the base and has spent time at the officer’s club with Topgun crews and other Navy staff.
Paramount Pictures has pushed the Top Gun 2 release date back by a full year, opting to release the sequel on June 26, 2020 instead of its originally planned July 12, 2019.
Pre-shoots took place this past May, before Tom Cruise went off to promote Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Principal photography is now about to get underway as casting has heated up, but hitting that July 2019 release date would have been a bit difficult given the technical nature of the shoot.
According to Variety, the move is being made to allow the production time to create “incredible” flight sequences so the film can be truly awesome.
Is Cruise taking 12 months to train as a stunt pilot in the F-18 Super Hornet? He did the helicopter stunt flying in Mission: Impossible after all.
Top Gun: Maverick reteams Cruise with Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski on the movie, which has been in development for years. Originally, Top Gun director Tony Scott was going to reprise his director duties. When Scott died, the future of the project was unclear for a bit, but clearly Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer were passionate about getting Top Gun 2 made.
• Top Gun: Maverick delayed a year
• Top Gun: Maverick adds Glen Powell to cast
• Top Gun 2 casts Miles Teller as Goose’s son
• Top Gun: Maverick, Val Kilmer set to reprise role of Iceman
• Top Gun 2 officially begins production