But the success of the film is always due to the characters in the story, to the emotion. That’s it. Because we took you on a real emotional journey through these characters. And that’s what the audience wants – they want to come into this dark theater, give up and say, Let me be a part of this world. That’s why I got into film.
You are on $1.48 billion. It’s at the check this morning. Critics love it. It was a huge surprise – it certainly surprised me…
And the audience! ‘Cause they walked in, like, Come on, show me. And as soon as they heard that gong. They see the jets. They’re just, ‘Okay!’
Development began in 2010. But when the conversation around a Superior gun the sequel really begins?
Right after doing the first one, and it was a success. I think we tried several times, I think Tom tried once. And we all left on our careers: Tom made his wonderful films, we left and made ours. So once we didn’t touch it the first time, we parted ways. Then, you know, we got back in the saddle with [Top Gun director] Tony [Scott].
There have been a number of delays, of course. Tony passed away.
Sure. So Joe [Kosinski] It was really Joe’s story that propelled him into his achievement. Joe pitched the idea of Goose’s son to me, and it’s great. So he worked on a bunch of photos, a presentation, and we flew to Paris – Tom was doing [a Mission: Impossible] – and sat down with him. Joe tells him the story, shows him the photographs.
Tom looked at him, he said, ‘There’s one thing you have to promise me. We do it for real. In fact, we are on airplanes, we do it well. Then Tom picked up the phone, called Paramount and said, “I want to do another Top Gun.‘ So that was the impetus for all of this to happen.
Your longtime collaborator and co-producer on Superior gunDon Simpson, is also honored in maverickdied in 1996. What were your first ideas for a sequel?
I don’t remember exactly what the story was, which we understood. But we certainly worked on some ideas and worked with writers. We never succeeded. I think he would be delighted [with Maverick].
And how has Tom changed since 1986?
I’ll tell you, he’s a student. He is still a student. He wanted to work with us because he wanted to learn what we do, how we market and what we do to make our films. Every choice he made from then on was, ‘Who can help me make myself better?’
From the directors he’s worked with, to the writers…you look at the list of directors, it’s phenomenal. He worked with Kubrick, Spielberg. And it’s a sponge. He takes it all. Jop Gun: Maverick was one of the true recipients of his knowledge, with everything he put into it, from everyone he worked with over the years.