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‘Top Gun: Maverick’: Release date, cast and everything else we know about the Tom Cruise sequel

Top Gun: Maverick Tom Cruise
(Image credit: Paramount)

Ready to fly back into the danger zone? More than 35 years after the original Top Gun, the Tom Cruise blockbuster is getting a sequel in the form of Top Gun: Maverick. Joining a long list of much-delayed follow-ups, will Top Gun: Maverick be able to capture the magic that its original had?

1986’s Top Gun starred a young Cruise as the hot-shot pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, as he and his co-pilot Goose take part in the Navy’s top fighter weapons school for elite pilots. Maverick likes to push it to the limit, but that ends up getting him in trouble and his confidence gets shaken following a tragic accident. But the happy ending prevails and he saves the day and gets the girl.

What can we expect from Top Gun: Maverick? Here is everything we know about the sequel.

What is the plot of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’?

Top Gun: Maverick takes place more than 30 years after the events of Top Gun. Maverick is now working as a test pilot and actively attempting to dodge the advancement in rank that would force him to stop flying.

However, his career ends up taking him back to Top Gun, where he must confront his past as he is charged with training a new squadron of fighter pilots.

Who is in the ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ cast?

Tom Cruise may be pushing 60, but there is no way Hollywood was going to make a Top Gun sequel and not have him back in the cockpit of a fighter jet. Maverick remains one of Cruise’s most iconic roles, so you just can’t have a Top Gun movie without the star reprising the character.

Cruise isn’t the only cast member returning from the original film. Maverick’s frenemy is back, as Val Kilmer will once again play Iceman. Anyone who has seen the documentary Val on Amazon Prime knows that Kilmer currently uses a voice box to speak after battling throat cancer. Despite his health concerns, Cruise was adamant that Kilmer return for the sequel.

There will also be plenty of new faces in Top Gun: Maverick. Key to the plot is Miles Teller, who will be playing Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s old co-pilot Goose. Other new members of the cast include Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Manny Jacinto, Monica Barbaro, Jean Louis Kelly, Raymond Lee, Jay Ellis and Charles Parnell.

When is the ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ release date?

Top Gun: Maverick was initially going to be released in the summer of 2020. Clearly that didn’t happen as the film followed suit of many Hollywood blockbusters and punted on 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

We thought that we’d be getting Top Gun: Maverick in 2021, but Paramount has announced that they are pushing the film again to May 27, 2022, giving it a Memorial Day weekend release.

When Top Gun: Maverick is released, it will play exclusively in theaters. Expect a streaming debut on Paramount Plus about 45 days after its theatrical release.

Is there a ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ trailer?

Paramount has been eager to promote Top Gun: Maverick for quite some time, rolling out a few trailers to get fans pumped up for the sequel. This included a Super Bowl promo in 2020, which you can watch below. 

The studio also previewed the first 13 minutes of the film to CinemaCon convention audiences in August, though wouldn’t expect that to be making its way to the internet anytime soon. 

How to watch ‘Top Gun’

A silver lining to Top Gun: Maverick being delayed a bit longer, more chance for new moviegoers to experience the original Top Gun for themselves — or for fans of the movie to watch it for the eighth hundred time, no judgement.

To stream Top Gun, viewers will need access to Starz, which holds the film’s streaming rights, by either signing up for the Starz subscription service or adding Starz as a channel on Hulu or Amazon Prime Video. Consumers can also rent the film for a one-time fee on Apple TV, Google Play or YouTube (prices vary).

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.