Kosinski has teamed up with the actor for the anticipated sequel, 36 years after the 1986 original, but insisted Cruise ‘really didn’t want to make another Top Gun’, adding he had just 30 minutes to change his mind.
Evidently, 30 minutes is all you need.
Cruise reprised his role as pilot Captain Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in Kosinski’s new action blockbuster, but in a new interview the director explained: ‘So I read the script, I had some ideas, and Jerry (Bruckheimer) liked those ideas. He said, “You
know what, you gotta go pitch this to Tom directly”.’
The director flew to Paris to meet Cruise on a movie set where he was shooting one of his Mission: Impossible films and was given a 30-minute window to convince the actor to return to Fightertown.
He had a challenge on his hands because he found Tom wasn’t impressed at first.
Cruise needed a little pitching to get back in the cockpit (Picture: Paramount)
The film focuses on Maverick’s fractured relationship with Miles Teller’s Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw (Picture: AP)
Kosinki added to Polygon: ‘We flew to Paris, where Tom was shooting Mission: Impossible, we got about a half hour of his time between setups.
‘And I basically had 30 minutes to pitch this film, which I didn’t realise when we were flying over. But when I got there, I found that Tom really didn’t want to make another Top Gun.
Kosinski, here with his leading man in Cannes, had to catch Cruise between setups on Mission: Impossible (Picture: Toni Anne Barson/FilmMagic)
‘It’s one of those moments as a director, you have one on every film, where you’re on the spot to make a case for why this movie should be made. I had 30 minutes to do it.’
The pitch was successful and by the end of the meeting, Cruise had told movie bosses he was happy to return. So much so, he ‘picked up the phone, he called the head of Paramount Pictures and said, “We’re making another Top Gun.”‘
American actors Val Kilmer and Cruise in the OG Top Gun (Picture: Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
The director added that he convinced Cruise by explaining his idea for a ‘character-driven’ film and insisting it wouldn’t be called ‘Top Gun 2’.
It all paid off, with Top Gun: Maverick released last week and already proving to be a huge hit with cinema-goers by giving Cruise his first ever $100million (£79m) opening weekend at the US box office.
Over the Memorial Day long weekend in the US, the projected box office takings over the four days are a staggering $151m (£120m).
Considering Top Gun: Maverick isn’t showing in Russia or China, which typically boast large markets, the sequel has opened to a healthy $124m (£98m) around the world, bringing its global total to $248m (£197m).
Top Gun: Maverick is in cinemas now.