In a surprise to no one, we now have confirmation that longtime collaborator Christopher McQuarrie is once again working with Tom Cruise on the upcoming Top Gun 2. The duo first worked together on Valkyrie, which McQuarrie wrote, and after that experience he wrote The Tourist for Cruise (before Cruise dropped out), then eventually wrote and directed Cruise in Jack Reacher. Their early collaborations proved so fruitful that when Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol ran into a bit of trouble during production, Cruise called in McQuarrie to help do some uncredited work on the screenplay—he wrote the “Red is dead, blue is glue” line. And while McQuarrie wrote and directed Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Fallout, he continues to be a go-to screenwriter when films like Edge of Tomorrow or The Mummy need some help.
So again, it comes as no surprise that Cruise revealed in a new interview alongside McQuarrie in the upcoming issue of Empire that the two are working on Top Gun: Maverick, which will be their 10th film together. Sources close to the production confirm to us that McQuarrie is on hand strictly for script work, and that the heavy lifting on the screenplay is already done. The project has been in the works for years, and Cruise tapped his Oblivion helmer Joseph Kosinski to direct.
Top Gun 2’s current credited screenwriters, according to the always-accurate IMDb, are Peter Craig (12 Strong), Justin Marks (Counterpoint), and Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle), so this feels similar to an Edge of Tomorrow scenario where McQuarrie was brought in after the fact to work on the script just before and during production. This isn’t an unusual situation, especially given McQuarrie and Cruise’s history.
Kosinski has assembled a terrific ensemble for Top Gun: Maverick which includes the return of Val Kilmer alongside Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Glen Powell, Manny Jacinto, Lewis Pullman, and Thomasin McKenzie. Production is currently underway, but while it was originally scheduled for release in July 2019, it’s now due to hit theaters on June 26, 2020.