Top Gun: Maverick was one of the many movies delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, so it's not expected to be released until next year. While it may be a while before we see Tom Cruise return to the role of Maverick for the first time since 1986, the actor is channeling his character in other ways. According to the Daily Mail, Cruise is now an honorary Naval Aviator. The star has been "awarded the 35th Honourary Naval Aviator certificate in celebration of his work to promote Naval Aviation." The 36th Honourary Naval Aviator certificate was given to Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced Top Gun.
"In the history of motion pictures, there is not a more iconic aviation movie than the 1986 Paramount Pictures film Top Gun," the Naval Air Force said. "Its characters, dialogue, and imagery are ingrained in the minds of an entire generation of Americans.” They added, “The movie captured the hearts of millions, making a profound positive impact on recruiting for Naval Aviation."
Top Gun: Maverick was originally supposed to be released this summer, but was pushed to December with Cruise saying, "I know many of you have waited 34 years. Unfortunately, it will be a little longer. Top Gun: Maverick will fly this December. Stay safe, everyone." However, Paramount has since revised its schedule for its next couple of years' worth of blockbuster movies.
"We truly believe that there is no movie-viewing experience like the one enjoyed in theatres," Paramount’s President of Domestic Distribution Chris Aronson and President of International Theatrical Distribution Mark Viane said in a statement. "We are committed to the theatrical experience and our exhibition partners, and want to stress that we are confident that, when the time comes, audiences everywhere will once again enjoy the singular joy of seeing Paramount films on the big screen."
You can read the description for Top Gun: Maverick here: "After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell (Tom 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 (Miles 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."
Top Gun: Maverick is now slated to be released on July 2, 2021.