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The Director Of Top Gun 2 Explains Why The Sequel Starts The Same Way As The Original

Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski explains why the film begins identically to the original 1986 picture, complete with the same musical score

Top Gun premiered in 1986, launching the careers of both Tom Cruise and director Tony Scott. The opening scene displays video of F-14 fighter planes taking off from an aircraft carrier, overlaid with Faltermeyer's soundtrack, before transitioning into Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone," another song that became iconic with the picture (and is also featured in the sequel). Another major component of Top Gun's beginning was the opening card, which described the backstory of Top Gun as it pertains to real life, detailing how the actual school the film is based on was created on March 3rd, 1969 by the United States Navy. The school's goal was to teach the art of aerial warfare to the Navy's top one percent of pilots, assuring that they were the greatest fighter pilots in the world. The exclusive school was initially known as the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, but the pilots referred to it as Top Gun. The program still exists today, however it has been called The United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (SFTI program) and is still informally referred to as Top Gun.


Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski told THR that the Faltermeyer music had a huge impact on beginning the picture off the same way as the original, because he considers it as legendary as the Star Wars theme. While the original Top Gun theme music is used in Top Gun: Maverick, there is one significant alteration in the title sequence, which includes the opening card. "...to ensure that the few of males who graduated..." was changed to "...to ensure that the handful of men and women who graduated..." since there are now female fighter pilots (who began integrating into the Navy and Air Force in the early 90s). Here's what Kosinski had to say about the opening's differences and similarities:


"Harold Faltermeyer’s score, is as iconic to me as Star Wars, which is why wanted to start the film in the same way as the first film. Well, everyone is saying it is the exact same [start] as the first film, but it’s not. I added “men and women” to the opening paragraph. I hope people notice that, because women do fly for Top Gun now."

Kosinski also mentioned how, like director Tony Scott at the time of the first film's production, he had to innovate in order to capture flying "in a way that had never been done before." Kosinski's first objective was to film Cruise in genuine F-18s (one of the Navy's current in-service fighter planes), which developed into getting the complete cast of fighter pilot actors into the jets, which saw Cruise devising a course to get all the actors ready for the project. According to Kosinski, being able to shoot all of the characters in the cockpit of the F-18 while in flight "opens up the whole movie," carrying the torch forward for the late Tony Scott in creating Top Gun: Maverick something fresh and new for moviegoers.


At this moment, the enthusiasm surrounding Top Gun: Maverick cannot be overstated. Great reviews and decades of expectation have produced a buzz, fueled by the video and trailers that have already been released and promise a return to what made the original a masterpiece. Cruise's effort, along with the rest of the cast and crew, appears to be delivering a long-awaited summer blockbuster.

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