Does Tom Cruise Fly In Top Gun 2?

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Tom Cruise has earned a reputation for doing his own death-defying stunts, but will he actually be piloting military aircraft for Top Gun: Maverick?

Tom Cruise is famous for his insistence on doing his own stunts, and Top Gun: Maverick is no exception. After repeated delays, Top Gun: Maverick is finally set to release on May 27, with Tom Cruise’s Maverick once more taking to the skies as part of the TOPGUN program. The sequel will see Maverick taking on the role of an instructor, and will also feature Miles Teller as Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, son of Maverick’s late wingman Goose.

Although Top Gun: Maverick‘s differences might prove Cruise has changed in the decades since the original film, the sequel also affords the actor an opportunity to continue one of his most common career habits. Cruise has developed a penchant for doing his own stunts, something which has regularly become a factor in the making of his Mission: Impossible franchise. Cruise’s two main reasons for completing his own stunts are simple: he enjoys the danger, and he believes it makes his films better.

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Related: How Much Top Gun: Maverick Must Make To Out-Earn The Original Movie

However, in a franchise like Top Gun, where so much of the action involves the use of military aircraft, Cruise completing his own stunts might seem less plausible. However, for Top Gun: Maverick, Cruise’s stunts will be his own, and the film uses no green screens, meaning that all of its aerial stunts will be completed. It seems that Cruise completed almost every stunt seen in the film, with one notable exception.

Test Plane in Top Gun Maverick

Cruise is a certified pilot, and even has specific experience in the realms of aerial feats used in his films – he completed many of Mission: Impossible – Fallout‘s impressive helicopter stunts. In fact, Cruise only agreed to return for Top Gun: Maverick on the condition that its stunts be done for real, and that he was allowed to indulge his own need for speed. Cruise even insisted his co-stars undertake a training program he designed in order to prepare for their own stunts in the film.


Some of the actor’s requests were denied, however. Cruise wasn’t allowed to fly an F-18 jet for the film, despite having requested special permission from the US Navy. The jet itself costs over $70 million – almost half of Top Gun: Maverick‘s $150 million budget – and this, combined with the potential risk involved, led to Cruise’s request to complete the specific stunt using the Super Hornet to be denied. However, Cruise’s stipulation that the film’s stunts be done correctly, with him in the cockpit wherever possible, will surely lend an air of added authenticity to Top Gun: Maverick.

Tom Cruise has forged a reputation as one of Hollywood’s most intense figures. Despite having been a leading man for decades, Cruise is still willing to put himself on the line for his craft, and this obsession is proved by Top Gun: Maverick. Cruise has trained for years in order to safely undertake his own death-defying stunts, and it seems that his role in Top Gun: Maverick will be no different.


Next: Top Gun: Every Original Movie Callsign & What They Really Mean

  • Top Gun: Maverick/Top Gun 2 (2022)Release date: May 27, 2022

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