Great balls of fire! Paramount has felt the need to make a sequel to Top Gun for years, but when Tony Scott – the director of the fantastic 1980s original – committed suicide a couple of years ago, the project got caught in some jet wash and stalled. Still, the studio apparently hasn’t lost that lovin’ feelin’, because THR reports that they’ve hired writer Justin Marks to take over scripting duties on Top Gun 2.
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer told THR earlier this year what the film is supposed to be about: “The concept is, basically, are the pilots obsolete because of drones. Cruise is going to show them that they’re not obsolete. They’re here to stay.” That was back in March, though, when writer Peter Craig (who wrote The Town for Ben Affleck) was writing the screenplay. It’s unclear whether the story will remain the same now that Marks has the ball.
Marks is one of those guys who has been writing screenplays for years and years (with a list of projects that’s long but distinguished), but for whatever reason – perhaps the pattern was full – many of his projects haven’t ever been put into production. I remember being very excited about a script he wrote years ago called Supermax, which centered on comic book hero Green Arrow being falsely imprisoned in a high security facility with some of the world’s biggest supervillains. The feature credits he does have right now consist of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li and Jon Favreau’s upcoming take on The Jungle Book, so he’s still a bit of an unproven commodity at this point.
Tom Cruise is expected to return to his role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the sequel, and though it’s a good bet Anthony Daniels’ Goose (there’s two “O”s in there) won’t be returning, the first film was filled with an excellent supporting cast that could easily make cameo appearances now, including Val Kilmer, Tim Robbins, Clarence Gilyard Jr., Michael Ironside, Tom Skerritt, and Meg Ryan. Hopefully Marks, Cruise, and Bruckheimer aren’t writing checks their bodies can’t cash with this one. Marks has crashed and burned before, but Top Gun 2 is lookin’ good so far.
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