Entertainment

Top Gun: Maverick has a hidden callback to original movie for “hardcore” fans

Top Gun: Maverick brings Tom Cruise’s legendary pilot back after more than 30 years away from our screens, We meet Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in the sequel after he’s been avoiding promotion to keep doing what he loves – flying active missions. However, after annoying the wrong admiral, he finds himself back at Top Gun where he’s tasked with training up new recruits for a difficult mission.

There are plenty of fresh additions to the movie with a whole new cast, cutting-edge flight sequences, and a poignant story. But the film’s director Joseph Kosinski also wanted to make sure there were plenty of callbacks to the original 1986 movie tucked into the narrative. In our interview for the Inside Total Film podcast (opens in new tab), the director gave us some insight on one of his favorites – and why only die-hard fans will be able to notice it.

“There’s a moment where Maverick in this film says, ‘Too close for missiles, switching to guns,’ which is almost an exact copy from the first film,” he explains “We cut to an insert of Maverick switching the switch on the thumbstick from missiles to guns – which is totally fictional. That’s not how the F/A-14 is set up.”

Kosinski explains that they altered the interior of the plane to make the moment work. “So we actually copied the insert from the original movie to the point that we even put a very visible sticker on the stick that says missiles and guns, which is very ‘movie,’” he says. “But we actually copied it anyway to make it look fake, like the first movie. So that was a very insidery, very quick Easter egg for the hardcore Top Gun fans.”

For more from the director, make sure to listen to the 20-minute interview on the Inside Total Film podcast, available on:

  • Audioboom 
  • Apple Podcasts (opens in new tab) 
  • Spotify
  • Castbox
  • Deezer (opens in new tab)

If you’re looking for more of a deep dive into the Top Gun sequel, check out our chats with the cast and crew. Jerry Bruckheimer told us about his history of working with Cruise – and how he almost didn’t sign up for the first movie. While Miles Teller, Greg Tarzan Davies, Jay Ellis, and Danny Ramirez opened up about flight training with Cruise.


You can listen to our full interview with Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski on our podcast, Inside Total Film. Top Gun: Maverick is exclusively in UK cinemas in 4DX and IMAX. Check out our guide to 2022 movie release dates to see what else is coming out this year.

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