The trailer of the highly anticipated Top Gun: Maverick movie took everyone by surprise and made fans nostalgic watching Tom Cruise fly a fighter jet again. Tom Cruise acted in the first Top Gun movie which released 34 years ago and it was the first time the actor flew sorties in a fighter jet for the first time. While Tom Cruise piloted the Lockheed Martin’s F-14 fighter jet in the previous movie, this time around, he will be flying in the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet.
Unlike most of the actors who use stunt doubles and CGI to perform stunts, Tom Cruise is notorious for performing the toughest of stunts himself, be it hanging from the Burj Khalifa or be it hanging on a transport airplane.
Not only this, Tom Cruise is a trained pilot too and often flies helicopters and planes in movies. For Top Gun: Maverick, Tom wanted to fly himself the Boeing F/A-18 fighter jet. However, if the producer of the movie Jerry Bruckheimer is t be believed, U.S. Navy denied his request and all he could do it flew sorties in the back seat of the fighter jet.
He, however, flew P51 planes and then CGI was used to make them look real. In an interview given to Empire, a UK based movie magazine, Bruckheimer said, "The Navy wouldn't let [Tom] fly an F-18, but he flies a P-51 in the movie, and he flies helicopters. He can do just about anything in an airplane."
Bruckheimer said Cruise was too particular about the whole movie being as real as possible with no or little CGI and hence, wanted to fly the $71 million jet which he can be seen flying in the movie.
Bruckheimer also revealed some challenges they faced making the original 1986 movie. "We put the actors in the F-14s, and we couldn't use one frame of it, except some stuff on Tom, because they all threw up," producer said. "It's hysterical to see their eyes roll back in their heads. So everything was done on a gimbal. But in this movie, Tom wanted to make sure the actors could actually be in the F-18s."