Top Gun: Maverick Director Joe Kosinski Reveals the One Stunt He Thought Was Impossible to Pull Off

Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski took on a near-impossible feat: make a legacy sequel to Top Gun, one of the most iconic and enduring movies of all time, and not disappoint generations of established fans, while also bringing in millions of new fans from around the world. Granted, Kosinski never knew that the challenge of making Top Gun 2 and getting it into theaters would span an additional two years during a global pandemic – but even without all of that mess, just thrilling modern audiences with some nostalgic love of aeronautics was enough of a challenge in itself. 

While sitting down to talk with about Top Gun: Maverick, director Joseph Kosinski had to admit there was one stunt he thought would be impossible to pull of...

"There's a sequence in teh middle of the film where Maverick (Tom Cruise) runs the low level course by himself. For that sequence we got special permission from the Navy to fly under 50 ft as about 600 miles per hour. So that's one of those things that I don't think will ever be done again."

Indeed, much of the buzz around Top Gun: Maverick (including my own) has been centered on the crazy visuals and authentic feel that Kosinski, Cruise, and co. all created for this film. It's no spoiler to say that the sequence Kosinski is referencing is a pulse-pounding thrill ride (literally), and knowing that Cruise got in an F-18 and flew absurdly and dangerously low in the sky to get the shots only makes us respect the action blockbuster star that much more. 

(Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Here's what we had to say about Top Gun: Maverick in our official review

Oftentimes with decades-later sequels, stories come from a place of greed. There's an assumption that a brand can be revived with guaranteed success and a fresh crop of faces leading the charge; but for Top Gun: Maverick, it seems like the sequel took three decades not out of laze or indifference, but because they needed filmmaking to catch up. While the larger narrative of the 2022 sequel plays it safe, functioning more as a near beat-for-beat remake of the original than anything new, there's a subtextual meaning beneath its surface that makes it such an interesting piece of modern American art. On the surface, it's a movie about flying jets and how cool they look, yes, but beneath that it seems to be a movie about Tom Cruise coming face-to-face with his mortality and how the legacy of his feature films will be what he leaves behind.

Top Gun: Maverick is now playing in theaters.