SAN DIEGO — There’s a new trailer for “Top Gun: Maverick,” the long-awaited sequel to Tom Cruise’s 1986 classic, and it showcases some of the film’s fiery moments both in the air and between characters.
The movie is less than two months from its May debut. That feels almost impossible — the culmination of years of speculation and then further delay by the coronavirus pandemic. San Diego residents have been clamoring for a closer look since spotting the production in Coronado back in 2018.
The new movie finds fighter pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Cruise) now a grizzled veteran, dodging a move up in rank that would ground him as a test pilot for good. It’s his turn to serve as a teacher, training a new class of young pilots while “facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past.”
The new trailer opens on that group of young trainees, notably a class of both men and women, with one of the hotshots asking, “Who the hell are they going to get to teach us?”
Enter Cruise’s Maverick, who’s seen alternatively screaming through valleys in a jet and tearing across an airstrip on a motorcycle throughout the trailer.
It’s not clear how well he’ll take to mentorship, but the promotional material certainly establishes one skeptic: Vice Admiral Cyclone (yes, Cyclone) played by Jon Hamm. In the trailer, Cyclone tells Maverick that he only accepted him on base as an instructor at the request of Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, the rival pilot-turned-ally played by Val Kilmer in the original film.
The trailer sets up a clash between Hamm and Cruise’s characters, Kilmer’s return as an admiral and Maverick’s tension with “Rooster,” the son of his tragically departed wingman “Goose” from the original film. As in the first movie, interpersonal drama promises to pack just as much firepower as the aviation scenes.
Many San Diego residents have a soft spot for the original “Top Gun” because of its focus on San Diego aviators. The original film was based on the U.S. Navy’s famed fighter pilot school in Miramar, now the site of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Much of the film was shot in San Diego or in the surrounding area, including the iconic blue cottage still standing in Oceanside that’s commonly known as the “Top Gun house.”
Crews also filmed sequences for the sequel in town. The production spent at least a month on Naval Air Station North Island, and keen-eyed residents in Coronado caught a glimpse of the man himself on a motorcycle.
Cruise also made a surprise appearance at San Diego Comic-Con to unveil the film’s original trailer.
“Everything you see in this film is for real,” he told the crowd. “The flying: we are working with the Navy. Everything is real, and I really wanted to give you an experience of what it’s like to be in that aircraft.”
“Top Gun: Maverick” will release exclusively in theaters on May 27.