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  • Writer's pictureMystery Man

Tom Cruise's Role in the Making of Top Gun: Maverick Dogfight Scenes

Tom Cruise, star of Top Gun: Maverick, describes how he assisted in the planning of the highly anticipated sequel's aerial dogfights and explosive action sequences.

Teller and his on-screen teammates were put through a grueling Top Gun "boot camp" established by Cruise and the US Navy in preparation for the sequel film. The star, who is known for his films' realism, planned to film all of the actors in authentic F/A-18 Superhornet fighter jets for their flight scenes. For several scenes in the first Top Gun, Cruise and his co-stars were placed inside F-14 Tomcats; however, due to a lack of flight expertise, the cast was unable to perform under those conditions. To fix their error, the future film's performers were forced to undergo arduous physical training as well as flight training on several aircraft for two months in order to prepare them for their parts.

The cast and crew of Top Gun: Maverick were recently interviewed, and Cruise discussed how the airplane stunts and dogfights were planned. Despite learning to fly and being placed inside real fighter jets for their flight scenes, the cast was not allowed to pilot the plane for a variety of legal and liability reasons. Teller revealed that a legitimate pilot sat in the front seat, while the actors and camera equipment were in the back. "If the pilot pushes this stick left and I pull the stick left even a half second later, that's not going to look correct," the actor continued. The plane is going ahead of me. So you really need to get your act together." Cruise then explained how he used a mock-up he constructed to help the pilots and actors prepare for their scenes. Check out how the star described the training in the video below.

"I built a wooden mock-up of the F-18, where the pilot was sitting in one place and the actor in the other. I had them work together. I take [the pilots] through the story so that they can get the jet to behave a particular way. I had to teach them about cinematography . . . here's the moment that we're going for, here's the lines."

Top Gun: Maverick was described by Cruise as a "love letter to aviation" with a high level of realism. Creating a severe physical training routine and putting the performers in actual fighter jets when studios could easily recreate the aerial feats needed with computer-generated visual effects would appear ludicrous and expensive, but Cruise needed it. Captain Brian Ferguson, a US Navy consultant, stated that many people felt Cruise was "mad" for his lofty goals, but explained that "every time you see an actor in an airplane, there is an actor in an airplane."

Cruise is well-known for performing his own stunts and pushing the boundaries of realism in his films. In the long-running Mission: Impossible series, he has scaled the world's tallest building, hung from the side of an airplane during takeoff, and notoriously injured his ankle performing a rooftop-to-rooftop leap in the most recent film. Cruise even intends to film a film in space's zero-gravity atmosphere. As early reviews for Top Gun: Maverick stream in, it's clear that Cruise's attention to detail and predilection for realism have paid off.

Source: People

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