'Top Gun: Maverick' crammed Tom Cruise and six IMAX cameras into real jet plane cockpits for its aerial action

Tom Butler
Senior Editor

Tom Cruise is pushing the boundaries of action cinema once again in 2020’s Top Gun: Maverick.

A new behind the scenes featurette, released today by Paramount Pictures, has revealed that the actors flew in real military jets for the film’s many aerial scenes.

Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of the film and its 1986 predecessor, says the film is a “love letter to aviation” so it was important to make the audiences feel like they were in the skies with the stars.

To do this, director Joseph Kosinski (Tron Legacy) installed six IMAX-quality cameras into the cockpits, before pilots flew the actors on real life aerial sorties.

“It is aggressive, you can’t act that, the distortion on the face,” explains Cruise in the behind-the-scene video above.

“They’re pulling seven and a half, eight Gs. That’s sixteen hundred pounds of force. I’m so proud of [the actors] and what they’ve done. It’s heavy duty.”

Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

Cruise returns as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell for the sequel, where he’s training the next generation of Top Gun pilots for active service.

His action exploits for previous films have included performing over 100 HALO jumps from 25,000 feet for Mission: Impossible - Fallout, flying stunt planes in American Made, and most famously climbing the world’s tallest building for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.

Synopsis: 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.

Read more: Tom Cruise’s most insane stunts

When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialised 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 in cinemas, IMAX and Dolby Cinema summer 2020. Watch a trailer below.