Get ready to fly back into the danger zone, as the Keny Loggins classic song “Danger Zone” is officially confirmed to be part of the long-awaited Tom Cruise Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick. The song by Loggins is one of the most recognizable features of the classic ‘80s movie, so fans are sure to be happy to hear that it will once again play as a de facto theme song for Maverick as he soars through the air.
Loggins confirmed the exciting news when he recently was on Rob Lowe’s podcast, Literally with Rob Lowe. Lowe asked Loggins if he was involved in Top Gun: Maverick, to which the Grammy-winning musician said he was “finally” able to say that “Danger Zone” would play in the sequel. Though apparently, he has known for a while.
Loggins told Lowe that a few years ago when he and Tom Cruise were both on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (surprisingly the only time the two have ever met, per Loggins) he asked Cruise straight up: “So, yes or no? Is ‘Danger Zone’ in the new movie?” To which he said Cruise replied, “We can’t do Top Gun without ‘Danger Zone.’”
In case you need a quick refresher, Top Gun starred Tom Cruise as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a hotshot Navy pilot who attends the best flight combat training school, known as Top Gun. Featuring multiple aerial sequences, “Danger Zone” was played during a number of these. Check it out in the music video below.
Top Gun was nominated for four Oscars when it was released, including one win for Best Original Song. However, “Danger Zone” was not the recipient of that award. Instead, it was the love song “Take My Breath Away”, by Berlin, that took the trophy. All due respect to “Take My Breath Away,” a memorable song in its own right, but “Danger Zone” has stood the test of time in the culture, including being part of a long-running joke on the hit animated series Archer.
“Danger Zone” won’t be the only bit of nostalgia in Top Gun: Maverick. In addition to Tom Cruise reprising his leading role, Val Kilmer is slated to return as Maverick’s frenemy Iceman. New cast member Miles Teller’s character also has a connection to the past, as he plays Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s copilot Goose.
Here is the synopsis of Top Gun: Maverick:
“After more than 30 years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.”
Top Gun: Maverick, after a couple of pandemic-related delays, is scheduled for take-off only in movie theaters on May 27. And we can't wait.
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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 Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.