That feeling, the one you’ve had for more than 35 years? The one you fail to satiate with basic cable rewatches and Kenny Loggins’ Greatest Hits album? You don’t want it. You need it. We all need it, because we all have the need. The need for speed. And now we’re finally getting it, when Top Gun: Maverick soars into theaters on May 27. And if you thought the film’s tremendous trailers had you hyped, wait until you see the movie’s new behind-the-scenes featurette. Because nothing will get you ready to strap into an F-18 yourself more than Tom Cruise teaching his fellow co-stars how to film themselves inside a real fighter jet.
Nobody loves movies more than Tom Cruise. Nobody. That man is absolutely dedicated to bringing the best film he can to theaters every time, even if it kills him. And, as this Top Gun: Maverick featurette reminds us, sometimes it seems like he wants that to happen. The long-awaited sequel features practical effects, which means each and every actor had to climb inside an F-18 as it ripped through the sky.
They also had to learn how to film themselves while inside the planes. There’s not exactly room for a director of photography inside those jets. So on top of having to act while risking their lives, they also had to make sure the lighting looked good. Good gravy, this movie isn’t even out and we’re already in love with it.
Each performer also had to undergo a rigorous training regime, which the Top Gun: Maverick featurette lays out. That meant learning how to handle all those g-forces and preparing for an honest-to-goodness underwater escape if any of them had to actually eject during a flight.
That’s an absurd task for any actor to undertake. But it’s especially incredible for Tom Cruise, who can probably afford to buy a few F-18s of his own. He doesn’t need to do any of this. Cleary, even more than the biggest Pete Mitchell fans, Tom Cruise needs this. He truly has the need for speed.