Yahoo movies got to speak to producer Jerry Bruckheimer on the phone about the 3D conversion and his memories of filming “Top Gun.”
“Tom was our first choice,” Bruckheimer told me. “I don’t think we ever went out to anybody else, and it took a wooing process to get him.” At the time, Cruise had just made the film “Legend” with director Ridley Scott, who’s the brother of “Top Gun” director Tony Scott. So they were able to pitch the movie to the burgeoning star, but he wouldn’t commit to the role.
To really sell Cruise on playing a Navy pilot, they had to give him a first-hand look at what they do. Bruckheimer recalled that they reached out to the Navy, and they got permission to get Cruise in the backseat for a trip with the Blue Angels, the elite aerobatic flight team. Bruckheimer said, “We sent him down to El Centro,” the Naval Air Facility in California that serves at the winter home for the Blue Angels, “and he jumped in the back of that jet and just had the ride of his life.”
Bruckheimer said, “At the time, he had shoulder-length hair, and [the Navy pilots] said, ‘We’re going to take this hippie for a real ride,’ and they just blasted him through the air and did rolls and did all kinds of crazy stuff with him.” After tearing through the skies at speeds approaching Mach 1, Cruise returned to Earth with a new perspective on the movie. Bruckheimer said, “He got on the ground and walked over to a phone booth – we didn’t have cell phones in those days. He calls me up, he says, ‘I’m doing it.’ [Laughs] That was it.”
Fans of the original should also be happy to hear that Bruckheimer still has hopes for a “Top Gun” sequel. He said it’s something he has wanted to make happen since the movie came out 27 years ago, and “we haven’t given up yet.” He said the interest is definitely still there, “It’s just figuring out how to do it, which I think we have a good handle on, and losing Tony slowed us down, but hopefully we can pick up speed again.”
You can read the rest of the interview HERE.