As Top Gun 2 goes to theatres soon would you believe Tom Cruise almost wasn’t cast as Maverick
Top Gun is unarguably one of the finest movies dished out in the 1980s. The movie boasted a massive commercial success also was critically acclaimed for its death-defying aerial stunts. With a whopping $357 million business in the box office, considering the budget of a minuscule $15 million; the film unsurprisingly diverted a lot of cognizances. Also, cemented Tom Cruise’s strategic position of premiere actors in Hollywood. While Tom Cruise got a penchant for sequels with his Mission Impossible series Top Gun 2 is on the charts as well.
Watch: Tom Cruise’s Top Gun 2 Trailer
As Top Gun turns 35th this year, here are some snippets that will pour a lot into insight about what went in to make the movie what it is.
Tom was not the first choice
Doesn’t the idea that Tom was not the first choice for the role of Maverick in Top Gun puts you on pins and needles. But this is true. To shed light, there is a whole incident that took place, and then Cruise was considered ideal for the role of protagonist. For now, let us skim through the names that were almost pepped up to make a cut in the movie.
For starters, Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket, a 1987 war drama), Michael J Fox (Back to the Future series, Marty Mcfly), Tom Hanks (Forest Gump), John Cusack (Nicholas from Runaway Jury).
Another name includes John Travolta (Jack in Blow Out, 1981), Scott Baio (Chachi in sitcom Happy Days and also in its spin-off), Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancin, he was proclaimed Sexiest Man alive in People Magazine in 1991).
The list is exhaustive, but we all can vouch that none other than Cruise could have pulled off the character of Pete Mitchell better. Or perhaps, we have fallen for Pete so much that any other actor wearing the flight suit does not convince us. More so, we have turned habitual but not perforated of witnessing Cruise implement gravity-defying acts so immaculately.
Cruise’s Casting Couch tale
During the 1980s, Risky Business was one iconic film that drew ears and eyes toward Cruise. At that crucial time when Tom’s career was at a nascent stage, his every choice had the potential to helm his life in polar directions. And to glue to his status in A-list star, there was much at stake. Jerry Bruckheimer (producer, Top Gun) narrates the tale of roping Cruise in Top Gun, stating “it was not easy.”
The producer says that back in the day Tom was sporting a long ponytail and was occupied in shooting Ridley Scott’s Legend. He arranged a flight with Blue Angels at Naval Air Facility in El Centro, California. The people at Airbase looked at his appearance and concluded he was a hippie. He further adds,
“They took him up on an F-14 and flipped him and did all kinds of stunts to turn him around and make sure he never got back in a cockpit. But it was just the opposite. He landed and he walked over to a phone booth and called me up and said, “Jerry. I’m making the movie. I love it.” He became an amazing aviator himself. He can fly just about any plane they can make.”
And rest is history. The coming sequel of TG is expected to drop in November 2021.