James Corden is Tom Cruise’s new Goose in Top Gun inspired Late Late Show clip

Tom Cruise and James Corden in a fighter Jet on The Late Late Show with James Corden
Tom Cruise and James Corden prepare to take to the skies in a fighter jet. (Image credit: Terence Patrick/CBS)

Tom Cruise got a new (reluctant) copilot this week in talk show host James Corden. On Tuesday, May 24, The Late Late Show with James Corden aired a video feature with the Top Gun: Maverick star that saw Cruise and Corden take to the skies in both a vintage and more modern fighter jet; a very different kind of ride than Corden is used to in his popular Carpool Karaoke segments.

The clip begins with Corden arriving at Burbank airport at the request of Cruise, seemingly unaware of what awaits him. Cruise then takes Corden to the desert and reveals that they are going to have a Top Gun day, starting off with Cruise flying him in a 1944 fighter, which looks like the one that is featured in Top Gun: Maverick. Corden is not particularly thrilled with the idea, but as Cruise points out, they’re in the desert, he really can’t run away from it.

Doing some awesome aerial acrobatics is just the start of things, as Cruise springs another surprise on Corden when another World War II fighter shows up itching for a dog fight. A terrified Corden can only hang on for dear life as Cruise performs aerial maneuvers with the other plane and around the natural terrain.

When they come in for a landing, Corden thinks the worst is over, but Cruise quickly reveals there's another flight on the itinerary in a modern fighter jet. Cruise says Corden is going to be his Goose, who Corden quickly points dies in the original Top Gun, though Cruise is quick to qualify that he’s the Goose from the first half of the movie ("the 'You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling' Goose").

However, they can’t go back up into the air until the next morning. This gives Cruise time to provide Corden with a bit of training on the fighter jet, though one part seems to be just doing a conga line. The pair also grow their bond as copilots by playing volleyball and then sharing some stories over a campfire.

The moment finally arrives the next morning and at first Corden is much more pleased with the more modern plane, as the two even do some singing of "Danger Zone." But of course, things pick up a notch from there.

Watch the full video from The Late Late Show with James Corden directly below.

Top Gun: Maverick releases in movies theaters worldwide on May 27 (it is currently open in the UK). 

More Top Gun: Maverick content

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.