Paramount Pictures announced this week that additional delays are being applied to the release dates of numerous films, including the high-flying sequel to the 1986 hit “Top Gun.”
“Top Gun: Maverick” now has an official release date of July 2, 2021 — pending any additional dreaded amendments and assuming the coronavirus kindly, and finally, sits this one out.
“We truly believe that there is no movie-viewing experience like the one enjoyed in theatres,” Paramount officials Chris Aronson and Mark Viane said in a release.
“We are committed to the theatrical experience and our exhibition partners, and want to stress that we are confident that, when the time comes, audiences everywhere will once again enjoy the singular joy of seeing Paramount films on the big screen.”
Tom Cruise announced the last round of delays in April, tweeting, “I know many of you have waited 34 years. Unfortunately, it will be a little longer. ... Stay safe, everyone.”
Anticipation for the film first soared following the release of its hair-raising trailers. A recent Empire Magazine interview with Tom Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, meanwhile, stoked the suspense of aviation and cinema nerds everywhere.
Details revealed in the Empire interview included director Joseph Kosinski’s (“Oblivion,” “Only the Brave”) decision to drop IMAX cameras into the cockpit of an F/A-18 Super Hornet to showcase CGI-free in-flight sequences that feature actors physically in the aircraft. (Trained pilots were at the helm off-camera.)
During production, Cruise reportedly requested to pilot an F-18 but the Navy objected, cognizant, perhaps, that an actor at the controls of a Super Hornet could be the very danger zone Kenny Loggins always warned of. Still, the 57-year-old actor does pilot both a World War II-era P-51 Mustang — an aircraft he personally owns — and a helicopter in the film.
“I said to the studio, ‘You don’t know how hard this movie’s going to be,” Cruise told Empire. “No-one’s ever done this before. There’s never been an aerial sequence shot this way. I don’t know if there ever will be again, to be honest.”
When it finally does land in theaters, “Top Gun: Maverick,” which Cruise characterized as “emotional,” promises to be one of the more visually immersive cinematic experiences.
Cynically, Paramount’s statement of “when the time comes” may be synonymous with “when a vaccine is developed.”
America’s strategy of getting bored with COVID-19 appears to have done shockingly little to deter the virus’ ferocity. Previously reopened places continue to shut their doors after our species demonstrated a blatant inability to socialize in moderation or follow elementary instructions supported by scientific evidence.
In addition to “Top Gun,” studio decision-makers at Paramount (again) delayed the release of the sequel to John Krasinski’s thriller, “A Quiet Place,” starring Cillian Murphy alongside the original film’s lead, Emily Blunt.
Similarly, Disney announced all upcoming Star Wars or Avatar big screen splashes would be pushed back an additional year. The release of the live-action “Mulan” has also been bumped from the 2020 calendar.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.