Is Top Gun 2 about to take off?

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Val Kilmer took to Facebook yesterday to spread the rumour that he and Tom Cruise may be pairing up again to reprise their roles as Iceman and Maverick in Top Gun 2. His status update said

I just got offered #TopGun2 – not often you get to say ‘yes’ without reading the script… ‘It’s starring Gene Hackman…’ ‘Yes’ ‘The director is Francis Coppola…’ ‘Yes!’ ‘Jerry Bruckheimer and Tom Cruise!!!’ ‘Yes.’ We will all miss Tony Scott one of the kindest gentlemen I’ve ever met in the film biz, but let’s fire up some fighter jets again!!!

Kilmer has since retracted his original statement a (tiny) bit, but there is hope the two lads will be taking to the skies again very soon.

Both his enthusiasm for the project and his respect for the late Top Gun director Tony Scott are clear, but the other facts were a little hazy. Kilmer subsequently edited the message with the phrase “I jumped the topgun” to clarify that, among other things, Hackman and Coppola are not involved.

But Kilmer, who is the only actor ever to play God, Moses, Elvis and Jim Morrison, may just be telling the truth as Skydance Productions C.E.O. David Ellison said during the summer that Top Gun 2 screenwriter Justin Marks “has a phenomenal take to really update that world for what fighter pilots in the Navy has turned into today.” Ellison went on to say that the film will explore how the advent of drone technology is making fighter pilots irrelevant. In the initial concept of the film, Cruise was meant to have a cameo, but the role has since been expanded, and, Ellison said, “There is an amazing role for Maverick in the movie and there is no Top Gun without Maverick, and it is going to be Maverick playing Maverick.”

What Ellison really meant is “it’s going to be Tom Cruise playing Maverick,” but the star has yet to officially sign on. Cruise did say in July, “If I can figure it out, if all of us can figure it out, it’d be fun to do, I’d like to fly those jets again, but we got to do all the jets practical, no C.G.I. on the jets. . . . I’m saying right now no C.G.I. on the jets. If we can figure all that out, and the Department of Defense will allow us to do it, that would be fun.”

So that’s a “maybe” from Cruise and a “yes” from Kilmer. However if Top Gun 2 with Tom Cruise is really going to happen, it looks very much like Iceman will be back as Maverick’s wingman. But a word of caution for fans of the original film came from producer Jerry Bruckheimer who last month said, “We’ve been trying to get that movie made for 30 years…”