Top Gun: Maverick Cast Had to "Go Through a Lot" When Training Alongside Tom Cruise

The stars of Top Gun: Maverick had to "go through a lot" when preparing for this summer's more than 30-years-later sequel to 1986's Top Gun, according to returning producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The producing maverick reveals the extensive training process undertaken by its cast — including Tom Cruise, back in the titular role, who is joined by series newcomers Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Jay Ellis, Monica Barbaro and Danny Ramirez — who take to the skies when piloting F-18 fighter jets. Described by Bruckheimer as an "enormously romantic and exciting movie," the longtime producer says he's "never seen aerial sequences like this" in his life.

"It’s pretty extraordinary. All our actors had to go through three months of training," Bruckheimer told the Toronto Sun. "We first put them in prop planes so they’d get used to being up there and flying. Then we put them in aerobatic prop planes so they could feel some of the G-forces. Then we put them in jets so they’d feel more. Then, finally, we put them in F-18s. But they had to go through a lot."

Bruckheimer explained, "They had to go through water safety training, ejection training. There was a lot of difficult stuff to get this movie right. But Tom Cruise is one of the best. All these movie stars, like Will [Smith, star of Bruckheimer's recent Gemini Man] and Tom, it’s not by accident. They work really hard at it. Tom, day and night, was focused on Top Gun. I’d get calls at 6 in the morning on a Sunday with some notes that he had. None of this comes easy and they work very hard at it."

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Back as Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell, now a captain entrusted with training a new generation of aviators, Cruise is joined by Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, and original Top Gun co-star Val Kilmer back as Iceman.

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Teller), call sign: "Rooster," the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.” Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy, Oblivion), Top Gun: Maverick opens in theaters June 26.