Tom Cruise is Top Gun, no can argue with that. But Top Gun is what happens when Pete “Maverick” Mitchell goes to flight school with the “best of the best”. And you can’t prove you’re the best of the best on your own. You need a whole crew. Iceman and Slider. Viper and Jester. Wolfman, Hollywood, and of course Goose. 


My point is, then, for the sequel, another team had to be assembled for Tom Cruise to show us, again, that he is indeed the “best of the best”. So here are some of the new Top Gun recruits: Miles Teller (who’s playing Goose’s son, call sign Rooster), Glen Powell (call sign Hangman), Monica Barbaro (call sign Phoenix), Jay Ellis (call sign Payback), and Greg Tarzan David (call sign Coyote). They were all at the premiere yesterday in San Diego. 

The movie isn’t out for another three weeks and as mentioned earlier, since I can’t remember when the embargo is up, I have to keep it conservative about what I can say about it so why don’t we get to the goods and just talk about the beach football scene. That’s not a spoiler since Paramount has already released a photo of it for promotion…

Top Gun: Maverick promo photo 



…and there are a couple of quick shots of it from the trailer…

Top Gun: Maverick trailer
Top Gun: Maverick trailer

I mean, we had to expect this callback. And the thing is, for many of the actors I talked to at the junket last Sunday, they wanted the callback. They prepared for the callback! Much of our conversations involved how hard they trained for the movie – flight training, of course, and the flight program that Tom Cruise arranged for them to be ready for all the aerial scenes. And we’ll pause a minute here so that I can tell you that every single one of them was like, holy sh-t, it was so hard going up in those F-18s two times a day but Tom was up there way more than we were, like if we were two times, he was at least three! Which, naturally, only adds to the Tom Cruise mythology. 


Now back to the beach… so there was flight training but there was also beach training. As in, they took it very, very, very seriously the fact that they would be calling back to the now iconic Top Gun beach volleyball scene and made sure their bodies were ready for it. Cut and pumped and chiselled. And oiled. 

Because once you put in all that work, you still have to make it slick. That’s why baby oil kept coming up in conversation, lol. They wanted to flex – and they wanted glisten and glow to enhance that flex. In service, of course, of cinema. For the art! So I can confirm that it is, indeed, artistic. That the baby oil worked. That the scene is delivers on its promise.