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The Next Reel • Season 13 • Series: 2023 DGA Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film Nominees • Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick

“It’s not the plane, sir. It’s the pilot.”

The Long Road to Top Gun: Maverick

The original Top Gun was a massive success in 1986, but it took over 30 years for a sequel to finally take flight. Development on Top Gun: Maverick began in 2010 when Paramount Pictures approached producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott about a sequel. Unfortunately, the project was put on hold after Scott’s death in 2012. The studio eventually moved forward with the sequel in 2017, with Joseph Kosinski taking the helm and Tom Cruise reprising his iconic role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue the 2023 DGA Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film Nominees series with a conversation about Top Gun: Maverick.

Feeling the Need for Speed in Top Gun: Maverick

In our discussion of Top Gun: Maverick, we dive into the film’s thrilling action sequences and how they compare to the original. We also explore the movie’s themes of legacy, aging, and the changing nature of warfare. Additionally, we examine how the sequel handles the absence of key characters from the first film and introduces new ones.

Other Discussion Points

  • The film’s impressive practical effects and minimal use of CGI
  • Tom Cruise’s commitment to the team actually flying
  • The emotional weight of Maverick’s relationship with Rooster, Goose’s son
  • Jennifer Connelly’s strong performance as Penny Benjamin
  • The movie’s nostalgic callbacks to the original Top Gun

Why Top Gun: Maverick Soars

Top Gun: Maverick is a rare sequel that manages to capture the spirit of the original while updating it for a new generation. The film’s stunning aerial sequences, coupled with its exploration of complex themes and character relationships, make it a worthy addition to the Top Gun legacy. While the movie may lean heavily on nostalgia at times, it still manages to stand on its own as an entertaining and emotionally resonant blockbuster. We have a great time talking about it, so check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!

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