At 53, Tom Cruise still prefers doing his own stunts, like swinging off buildings, leaping off skyscrapers and dangling on rope. In fact in his latest movie, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nations, Cruise is known to have performed his own stunts playing IMF super spy agent Ethan Hunt.
In an interview with Reuters while promoting Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nations during its premiere in London last Saturday, Cruise said he is open to the idea of reprising his role as U.S. Navy pilot Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the planned sequel of the 1980s blockbuster Top Gun, which catapulted him to Hollywood super stardom. But on one condition, no CGIs.
"It would be fun. I would like to get back into those jets," Cruise said and added, "It would have to be practical. I don't want any CGI jets. I want to shoot it like how we shot the first one."
The original action drama Top Gun which was released in 1986, grossed $353,816,701 in the box office worldwide and catapulted Cruise as one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood.
Reuters said film producer and Skydance media company Chief Executive David Ellison confirmed last month that a Top Gun 2 screenplay was underway and that Cruise is on board.
In a separate interview with Extra, Cruise reiterated his choice of flying real jets instead of pretending to fly one using a "green" background. He said, "We've got to do all the jets practical. No CGI on the jets. I remember when I did the first one, I said 'Look, in my contract I had to have three flights in the F-14.' And it had to be in the film, a shot from that. So we had to film it. And luckily they wanted me bad enough to do it, so I was able to do that. I'm saying right now - no CGI on the jets."
Early reports said Cruise will be flying the new F-35 Lightning II in Top Gun 2 where he would play as a test pilot. In March 2012, it was revealed by Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin F-35 program manager, that the F-35 Lightning II will be used and to be flown by Maverick in the sequel.
Top Gun 2 has been on the drawing board for several years now. On October 2010, Paramount Pictures offered Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott to make a sequel to Top Gun. Christopher McQuarrie had also received an offer to write the sequel's screenplay, which was rumored to have Cruise's character Maverick in a smaller role.
But Ellison insisted a Top Gun sequel will not be complete without Cruise reviving his role as Maverick. He told the Hollywood Reporter, "There is no Top Gun without Maverick, and it is going to be Maverick playing Maverick.
The next Top Gun will feature new technologies, including drones and will still revolve around fighter pilots. Bruckheimer commented, "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."
As for Tom's wish to keep the stunts as authentic as possible, Ellison told THR that while there will be special effects, the actor will be "100 percent going to want to be in those airplanes shooting it practically."
There are no details when Top Gun 2 will start filming as Cruise still has to clear his calendar. No release date for the film has been set so far.