Paramount is confident it will stick to the July release of Top Gun: Maverick, saying a further delay or streaming release on Paramount+ are unlikely. The long-awaited sequel to the hit 1986 movie once again puts Tom Cruise in the pilot’s seat as a US Navy pilot. The original was one of the top-grossing movies of the 1980s, and remains a firm favorite with generations of moviegoers 35 years later. The sequel, directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion), is being produced by Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Fallout) alongside Jerry Bruckheimer and David Ellison.
Originally scheduled for a summer 2020 release, Top Gun: Maverick was delayed, like most other Hollywood blockbusters of that year, to 2021, and is currently scheduled to drop on July 2. Paramount is determined to see its big-budget film on the big screen, and reports suggest that, despite big money offers from Apple TV+ and Netflix, the studio refused to sell the film for streaming. Cruise likely had something to do with that decision too, as the actor is a well-known fan of the cinema experience, even in the age of streaming.
A new report from THR confirms that Top Gun: Maverick won’t be going to a streaming service, not even Paramount‘s own Paramount+, set to replace CBS All Access on March 4. The report features a quote from Paramount president of distribution Chris Aronson, who is positive about the potential for the coronavirus pandemic to be over by the summer. He says as long as the new administration in the US manages to live up to its promises about vaccine distribution, he believes that enough theaters will be open by July 2 to avoid a delay. You can read his full comments below:
We have no plans to move our theatrical release of Top Gun. I think the next two months are critical, and whether the new administration can implement a robust vaccination plan. If Biden’s 100 million vaccines in 100 days works, then I think we’ll be in good shape.
It’s the first bit of positive news around release dates in what feels like months. The past week has seen a number of high-profile blockbusters getting pushed further back, including James Bond 25 No Time To Die, which will now only be in theaters in October. Other summer blockbuster releases, like the MCU movie Black Widow, are also rumored to be eyeing delays, so this is a rare instance of a studio backing its summer date. This could be the first glimmer of hope for the movie business, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
If the vaccine distribution goes according to plan, and the intended effect of bringing the virus under control happens, then summer 2021 may see audiences returning to theaters in their droves. And as one of the most anticipated movies of the year, Top Gun: Maverick‘s Independence Day weekend release date means it’s primed to take advantage of that. At the moment, it’s among the best news movie fans have heard all year.