Rumor has been going around that there will be a sequel to Tom Cruise’s hit 1986 movie “Top Gun,” written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr., with Cruise playing the leading role as Maverick, an F-14 pilot with a daredevil attitude. Writer Justin Marks is said to be drafting a plot line for the new flick, according to Christianity Today on July 29, but during the “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” premier, the celebrity actor (who does his own stunts) took time to tell ExtraTv that he, along with Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of the first film, had not made up their minds about whether they want to do a sequel or not to the hit.
It seems that Cruise is as committed as ever to giving his entertainment audiences only real action scenes, so if there is going to be a follow-up film to the first military pilot movie then he is insisting that the Department of Defense (DoD) will have to let him be in the cockpit of a real fighter jet–just like he was back in ’86, when he was filmed three times inside one for the first Top Gun movie. Given that the celebrity actor has proven his ability to do all the crazy and daring stunts in his follow-up films, like his most recent “Mission Impossible”, he seems to be someone the DoD can trust to know his limitations.
Interestingly, there is another real-life fighter pilot making headline news today as well, but this one flies an F-16CM, and he really does shoot through the air at 400 knots for a living. Air Force Capt. Craig “Rocket” Baker, the Viper Demo Team Pilot out of Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. is that man. In a July 29 Department of Defense press release, Capt. Baker was asked to talk about the rigorous conditions he faces when flying against G-forces in his latest military assignment–participating in global air shows to educate and recruit future pilots for the Air Force.
It’s intense. [Flying aerobatics] is similar to doing 12 minutes of doing wind sprints with a parachute behind your back. I am pulling eight or nine G’s throughout the entire show. It is physically demanding and exhausting”.
Tom Cruise has made no secret about his desire to give his fans the adrenaline rush they want in seeing him perform his own stunts, even those death-defying ones. And his willingness to practice stunts and put his body through grueling regimens to that end shows that he is willing to do the hard work in order to be allowed to perform these feats in lieu of a stunt double. So it is no surprise that the action-film star, despite his age, would strive to continue to undertake daring assignments like flying a fighter jet in a movie sequel.
Hopefully, the DoD will seriously consider allowing Cruise to partner with their Viper Demo pilot “Rocket” if Top Gun 2 does become a movie reality, then audiences can have the best of both worlds: their favorite action-star paired with the military’s finest stunt pilot. Tom can learn modern-day pilot talk and moves from Capt. Craig–while also being kept safe by a man trained rigorously for years by the military to ensure he (and any passengers in a plane with him) make it back to terra firma safely. And that would please Hollywood honchos and the DoD, as well as Cruise movie fans.