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TOP GUN: MAVERICK Featurette Puts Tom Cruise in a Real Jet

Tom Cruise is 57 years old. He’s been eligible for AARP benefits for seven years—not that he needs them. He has more money than any human being could ever spend in a lifetime. Wealth is a perk of being one of the biggest stars in the history of Hollywood. He’s made a lot of popular movies that have sold a whole lot of tickets. After all that success over nearly four decades in the spotlight, it would seem only natural he’d be ready to relax a little and enjoy his accomplishments. Except he’s an ageless lunatic who not only refuses to slow down, he keeps going faster and faster. And we mean that literally after watching this featurette for Top Gun: Maverick. It highlights the very real high speed flights he and his fellow cast members took to make the film authentic.

We didn’t need this promo to know Tom Cruise and his fellow performers aren’t actually flying those jets. They are passengers being flown by trained professionals who have a skill set that almost defies belief. (Seriously, think about what it takes to be a jet pilot who can pull off the types of maneuvers seen here.) It’s insane to think anyone can fly a fighter jet in the open sky, let alone low to the ground through narrow spaces. That’s not exactly something an actor can train for.

But that doesn’t make Tom Cruise’s willingness to actually risk his life in pursuit of authenticity any less crazy. He doesn’t have to do that. They have all kinds of technology to fake being in a cockpit! But as we’ve learned with the Mission: Impossible franchise, that’s definitely not his style. If his character needs to hang off the side of a plane he will literally hang off the side of a plane. And if he needs to jump out of one, well, Tom Cruise will jump out of a plane.

It’s funny, but riding in a jet is the safest thing Tom Cruise has done with a plane in years. Top Gun: Maverick needs him to actually be inside for once. Only that still means zipping through a wooded valley, because Tom Cruise either a) doesn’t fear death or b) literally can’t die. We’d believe either.

Is Paramount trying to kill Tom Cruise via a movie stunt? No, they are not trying to kill him. Probably.

As for Top Gun: Maverick, which released a full trailer earlier this week, it looks amazing visually. This featurette highlights why. As its star says, you can’t fully recreate the sensation of being in a fighter jet. Movie fans always talk about how much they prefer practical effects, and you can’t get more practical than seeing real planes flying through the air…even if the cost of making a movie like that sounds totally impractical. But that’s no less insane than Tom Cruise still putting himself into this situation all in the name of making an exciting movie.

That guy really is a maverick.

Featured Image: Paramount Pictures