A sequel to 1986's "Top Gun" is "definitely happening," Tom Cruise told a pair of Australian TV hosts Tuesday, with the star set to begin filming within the year.

Cruise's reveal, which came at the end of an interview with the "Sunrise" morning show promoting his role in "The Mummy," appeared to catch his interviewers by surprise (the follow-up question: "Really?") and opens the door for armchair script-writers to speculate on how Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell's Navy career has progressed over the past 31 years.

Some hints could come thanks to the flurry of sequel news and rumors that came out before and during the film's 30th anniversary celebration, which included a brief run in IMAX theaters and a 3-D Blu-Ray release. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer told The Huffington Postthat plans called for unmanned aerial vehicles to play a major role in the sequel, where the worth of pilots would be questioned by Navy officials and "Cruise is going to show them that they're not obsolete. They’re here to stay."

Bruckheimer reportedly has been planning a sequel for several years, even tweeting about a meeting with Cruise on the topic in early 2016.

Even Cruise's rival in the original, Val "Iceman" Kilmer, got in on the act in 2015, announcing on Facebookthat he'd been offered a role in "Top Gun 2" but that the movie "is a long way off, so calm down."

Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.

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