Tom Cruise and the rest of the stars of Top Gun: Maverick have landed in San Diego for the global premiere of the long-awaited sequel to 1986’s Top Gun. Of course, we can’t all be there to enjoy the glamour of the night, so What to Watch has compiled the photos of the stars on the red carpet, as well as soundbites from the event.
Despite it being more than 30 years since the original, Top Gun: Maverick is one of the most anticipated 2022 movies and a major summer blockbuster. While May 4 marked the official global premiere of the movie, those in attendance at the 2022 CinemaCon event at the end of April got to see Top Gun: Maverick and their first reactions were incredibly positive.
Top Gun: Maverick finds Cruise’s Pete "Maverick" Mitchell still living on the edge as a test pilot and dodging the rank advancement that would ground him from flying. However, when he is brought back to Top Gun to train a new group of hot-shot Navy pilots, Maverick must come face to face with his past. In addition to Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick stars Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Monica Barbaro, Manny Jacinto, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, Lewis Pullman, Jean Louisa Kelly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris and Val Kilmer.
Paramount Pictures went all out for the premiere, taking place on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum, organized a fly over and Cruise making his entrance flying a helicopter with the Top Gun: Maverick logo emblazed on its side and landing it on the deck of the Midway.
Top Gun: Maverick releases exclusively in movie theaters worldwide on May 27. Before that though, enjoy these pictures from the global premiere at the USS Midway Museum.
Here are some quotes from the premiere’s live stream:
On training for Top Gun: Maverick
"You go over, you get dressed, you get your G-suit on, they throw you in the plane, you go through a punch of checks, they shoot you off the tarmac and all of a sudden you’re in the air doing like 700, 800 miles per hour and then it just kicks in, man. It’s exhilarating, it’s beautiful." - Jay Ellis
"It was one of the most challenging and fruitful things I’ve ever gotten the chance to do. I was pretty sure I was incapable of doing what they were asking of us. ... [Tom Cruse] gave us everything that we needed that I think he had hoped he would have had on the first one." - Lewis Pullman
"We lost some actors because when he told them what he wanted to do in the jets they said, wait a second, I’m not going to do that. I have a hard time getting in a commercial jet, let alone an F18." - Jerry Bruckheimer
"You have to pass this thing called the dunker… It doesn’t sound nice. … I don’t even want to talk about it. … you get strapped to a chair and then you get blindfolded and then it’s simulating if you were in a plane still attached to the seat once you land in the water." - Miles Teller
On new characters
"When he was selecting me for the process, he said, 'this young man is wild, I want him.' And I was like, alright, yeah, I’ll live up to the name of Coyote. And I think I did that." Greg Tarzan Davis on Coyote
"Someone’s got to make the rules and someone’s got to break the rules and you can’t have one without the other. So that’s a big part of the dramatic tension of the film." - Jon Hamm on Cyclone and Maverick's relationship
"She’s such an incredible woman and I was so lucky that Paramount and Tom and Jerry and Joe, everyone really cared about making her a strong, capable, talented woman who … she’s a fighter pilot, she just happens to be a woman. She’s the best." - Monica Barbaro on Phoenix
Overcoming fear of flying
"I lied about not being afraid of flying. I had to sign the waiver saying I was not afraid and I was absolutely terrified. I have to take two glasses of wine and my bose headphones to take a commercial flight. So for me to even think about the F18 it was not possible until it was possible." - Danny Ramirez
"I actually was doing a scene with Tom, we were in the plane but we were just supposed to sit on the tarmac and he just started talking about how great aerobatic flying is and had I done any aerobatic flying. Then I thought should ask him, 'Am I about to do any aerobatic flying.' He said, 'really elegant and graceful, just some graceful rolls.'... He's a great pilot." - Jennifer Connelly
Seeing the movie on the big screen
"This is why you make movies. It’s big, it’s epic, it’s adventurous, it’s romantic. It’s got everything you’d want and I just can’t wait to unleash it on the world." - Glen Powell
"It felt celebratory to me. And I feel like that’s what we want right now. Going to a movie theater and seeing a spectacle of a movie that also has a lot of heart that pulls you in and is moving. I think it’s deeply satisfying." - Jennifer Connelly
"I love entertaining an audience and I love learning and pushing all my skills as a storyteller and an actor." - Tom Cruise
The legacy of Top Gun
"The filmmakers really wanted to get it right and they made us understand that we weren’t just actors working on a movie, we were like people who were chosen and selected for what we brought to the table to make sure that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts." - Bashir Salahuddin
"You know if you’re getting into a Tom Cruise movie you better bring it." - Charles Parnell
"Tom, the way that he described what we were trying to do with this film was that we were trying to hit a bullet with a bullet. And that really talks about how precise we need to be to make a sequel to Top Gun 30-some years later and to be able to have that film sit on the shelf next to the original. That’s extremely difficult." - Miles Teller
"Everyone thinks what Top Gun is, and of course it’s this great summer experience, and what it became to audiences and through the generations is something I couldn’t even imagine at the time we were making it. I knew it was special, but who knows that, how it transcends the generations." - Tom Cruise
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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.