'Top Gun 2' is on. But what role should Tom Cruise's Maverick play?
In news that may instill a sudden desire to watch a shirtless volleyball match, New York Magazine's Vulture blog reports that a sequel to "Top Gun" -- the 1986 flick that transformed Tom Cruise from mere movie star into an American hero -- is being made.
According to the report, Paramount has extended offers to both "Top Gun" director Tony Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to join the project, and is in discussions with "Usual Suspects" scribe (and "Valkyrie" co-writer) Christopher McQuarrie to update the screenplay. As for Cruise, his Lt. Pete Mitchell will be featured in the movie but, according to Vulture, in a "smaller role" that isn't too "obvious." In other words, Maverick won't cameo as a flight instructor.
But if he's not teaching young aviators how to buzz the tower or do inverted dives with MiG 28s, what should he be doing? Hey, thanks for asking. Because I've got a few ideas.
1. Maverick as ... therapist: In the first "Top Gun," Maverick finally got over his daddy issues. Twenty-five years later, perhaps he'll be counseling other cocky, young Navy men and women about how to push aside their own psychological baggage so they can focus on defending their country. Oh, and on the side, he and Lt. Tom "Iceman" Kazansky do conflict-resolution consulting for corporate clients. Name of their first book: "Finding Your Wingman: Learning How to Turn Your Co-Workers Into Co-Pilots."
2. Maverick as ... stay-at-home dad: Mav and his lady love, Charlie Blackwood (Kelly McGillis), lived the dream for a while. He did, as promised in the first movie, become a Top Gun instructor. They got married. And they lived happily for several years in her little bungalow, riding their motorcycle to work each day and chilling out to the sounds of Otis Redding every night. They even had a daughter together. But Charlie, sadly, eventually died in a tragic piano bar accident ("Great Balls of Fire," indeed), forcing Pete Mitchell to give up his instructor gig and focus on raising that little girl. Who is getting older. And is *very* interested in aviation.
3. Maverick as ... bartender: There's something about the notion of Tom Cruise behind a bar, skillfully pouring hard drinks that just feels so ... right. And familiar. In a "Top Gun 2" context, he could dole out all kinds of useful advice to his nightly regulars ("On the first one, it's okay if you crash and burn"), and kick off the weekly Thursday night karaoke event with his signature version of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling."
4. Maverick as ... volleyball instructor: Okay, maybe that falls into the "obvious" category. Whatever. I just want to hear "Playin' With the Boys" in a movie scene again. Although, for the record, Mr. Cruise does still have the abs needed to pull off a round of shirtless serves and spikes.
5. Maverick as ... dating advice columnist: Look, he managed to clumsily hit on his instructor and still win her heart. That makes Pete Mitchell -- or, to use the nom de plume from his online columns, Frisky Flyboy -- the perfect guy to tell men and women how to score dates. And he's been quite a success. His video series -- entitled, "I Feel the Need, the Need for Speed-Dating" -- went viral and may be adopted into a sitcom on CBS.
Got better ideas for how Maverick should make his way into "Top Gun 2"? By all means, fire away by posting a comment.
| October 14, 2010; 10:13 AM ET
Categories: Movies, Pop Culture
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