In 1986, Paramount Pictures released Top Gun, a story about a hotshot naval aviator, nicknamed “Maverick,” who had some extreme daddy issues. When the film landed on the big screen, it was an instant blockbuster, pulling in millions of dollars worldwide.
Well, check out these insights into the ’80s hit you probably never knew about.
Tom Cruise, initially, didn’t want the role of Maverick
One of the producers of the film, Jerry Bruckheimer, sent Cruise a number of script revisions, trying to get him attached. However, Cruise felt as if the movie didn’t quite have a compelling enough story just yet — and was unsure about taking the role.
So, Bruckheimer called U.S. Navy Admiral Pete Pettigrew and requested that he take Cruise out flying. After an intense flight session, Cruise called his representation and agreed to take the role.
“Hey, baby! It’s me, Wolfman!”
Charlie had an eye for Wolfman, not Maverick
Although Charlie and Maverick had an intimate, on-screen affair, talented actress Kelly McGillis ended up falling for Barry Tubb (Wolfman) — not Cruise.
“I think Tom is a nice guy,” McGillis humorously recalled in an AE documentary. “But, he’s not my type.”
Director Tony Scott once bounced a check to get his shot
Tony Scott was known in Hollywood for his stunning on-screen visuals. While filming one of the many shots of planes taking off from an aircraft carrier, the ship changed course. As a result, the director lost the only light source he had on a foggy day: the sun.
Scott had the first assistant director call the ship’s captain to inquire about how much it would cost to turn the carrier around so they could finish shooting. After hearing the amount, Scott wrote a check to the captain, the carrier turned around, and the director completed his shots.
Later on, the check Scott wrote bounced.
They used wild lines… a lot of them
For authenticity, the actors wore pilot air masks when delivering much their dialogue. As a result, their lines were muffled and unusable for the final cut. So, the actors performed their dogfighting lines off-screen, recording a series of what are known as “wild lines.”
Those lines were then added to the film in post-production.
There was supposed to be a Top Gun 2
After putting out such an enormous hit, producers wanted to cash in on a sequel as soon as possible. To do so, they wanted to use aerial footage left over from the original film. However, the 1986 classic used nearly all of the usable footage, leaving too little for a second go around.
They just flipped the image and shaded it a bit.
They actually fired a missile during filming… but only one
The military only allowed the crew to fire one missile — even though the script called for multiple. So, the film’s editors flipped the footage around to make a single shot appear as many. The ingenious idea tons of cash and perhaps the movie as a whole.