Director Joseph Kosinski said he had just 30 minutes to convince Tom Cruise to star in “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Revealing Cruise “really didn’t want to” make a sequel to the hit 1986 blockbuster, Kosinski met with the actor in Paris where he had just half an hour to pitch the project.
“So I read the script, I had some ideas, and Jerry [Bruckheimer] liked those ideas. He said, ‘You know what, you gotta go pitch this to Tom directly,’” Kosinski told Polygon.
“We flew to Paris, where Tom was shooting Mission: Impossible, we got about a half-hour of his time between setups.”
“And I basically had 30 minutes to pitch this film, which I didn’t realize when we were flying over. But when I got there, I found that Tom really didn’t want to make another Top Gun,” he explained.
“It’s one of those moments as a director, you have one on every film, where you’re on the spot to make a case for why this movie should be made. I had 30 minutes to do it,” he told the outlet.
Once Kosinski wrapped up his pitch, he recalled Cruise picking up his phone and calling the head of Paramount Pictures.
“We’re making another Top Gun,” Cruise told execs, according to Kosinski.
Kosinski said it was “pretty impressive to see the power of a real movie star in that moment.”
The director also revealed why the film is titled “Top Gun: Maverick” rather than a follow-up to the first film.
“I just had the title, you know, which I think kind of summed it all up,” he told Polygon. “We aren’t going to call it ‘Top Gun 2,’ we’re going to call it ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’”
He added that the film is a “character-driven story, a drama with this giant action film around it. And that to me was what a Top Gun movie is.”
In its first three days in North American theaters, the long-in-the-works sequel earned an estimated $124 million in ticket sales, Paramount Pictures said Sunday. Including international showings, its worldwide total is $248 million.
The build-up has been just as flashy, with fighter-jet-adorned premieres on an aircraft carrier in San Diego and at the Cannes Film Festival, where Cruise was also given an honorary Palme d’Or, and a royal premiere in London attended by Prince William and his wife Kate.