After three decades, the classic 1980’s blockbuster “Top Gun” still holds up remarkably well. Blending two quintessentially American film genres — sports and war — the film turned Tom Cruise into a viable action star and perfectly summed up the United States during the Reagan-era.

 

 

Last week, Skydance Productions CEO David Ellison announced that the company would move forward will plans for “Top Gun 2,” with a script currently in development by writer Justin Marks. Set 30 years after the original, the sequel will ditch the Cold War backdrop and instead center around now veteran hotshot pilot Maverick (Cruise) during an era where drones have begun to replace human pilots.

 

 

Tom Cruise and the late Tony Scott on the set of the original "Top Gun"

Tom Cruise and the late Tony Scott on the set of the original “Top Gun” (empireonline.com)

This announcement comes three years after the suicide of original “Top Gun” director Tony Scott, who had also planned on making a sequel concerning human pilots in drone warfare.

 

Regarding “Top Gun 2,” Ellison stated:

“It is very much a world we live in today where it’s drone technology, and fifth-generation fighters are really what the United States Navy is calling the last man-made fighter that we’re actually going to produce, so it’s really [about] exploring the ‘end of an era’ of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today… the plot will take place in the present day to account for the decades between the sequel and 1986.”

 

The drone-centric source material feels ripped from current headlines; several recent films — see: “Robocop” — have begun to broach the subject. This could prove cause for some concern, as the poorly received “Stealth” (2005) utilized a very similar story, but that film suffered from far more than just story issues.

 

Out of all this news, the return of Cruise seems like the biggest cause for rejoice among fans. Cruise has established a reputation as an action star dedicated to performing his own practical stunts, with minimal CGI utilization — just watch the Burj Khalifa sequence from “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” With him back in a starring role, we can feel at least a little confident in knowledge that the sequel will likely feature the same amazing aerial photography that made the original so heart-pounding.

 

Are you excited or a “Top Gun” sequel? Does the idea of Maverick going up against drone fighter sound exciting? Comment below or tweet @connerws to tell us what you think!