Featured Image Credit: Paramount/Alamy
The director of the Top Gun sequel has revealed there's a hidden callback in the film only 'hardcore' fans would have spotted.
Top Gun: Maverick was released last week and it has gone down an absolute storm, critically and commercially.
In fact, it's landed star Tom Cruise his first ever $100 million+ (£79m) opening weekend.
But among the breath-taking blockbuster scenes, there's also a sneaky little Easter egg squeezed in for the diehard Top Gunners.
Watch the trailer here:
Arriving 36 years after the original movie, the sequel clearly contains a number of notable differences, but director Joseph Kosinski was keen to ensure the film retained strong links to its predecessor.
As such, he littered it with plenty of callbacks, including one that only the biggest fans would notice.
In an interview on the Inside Total Film podcast, he said: "There's a moment where Maverick in this film says, 'Too close for missiles, switching to guns,' which is almost an exact copy from the first film.
"We cut to an insert of Maverick switching the switch on the thumbstick from missiles to guns – which is totally fictional. That's not how the F/A-14 is set up."
Explaining how they altered the interior of the plane to facilitate the callback, he continued: "So we actually copied the insert from the original movie to the point that we even put a very visible sticker on the stick that says missiles and guns, which is very 'movie'.
"But we actually copied it anyway to make it look fake, like the first movie. So that was a very insidery, very quick Easter egg for the hardcore Top Gun fans."
The sequel brings us a Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell (Cruise) who finds himself training the latest crop of Top Gun pilots for a dangerous mission, among them the son of Maverick's late friend Nick Bradshaw, known to fans as Goose. Enter Lieutenant Bradley Bradshaw, played by Miles Teller, whose call sign Rooster pays homage to his late father.
Cruise – who was also a producer on the film – said he'd been thinking about the sequel for decades, but he only wanted to do it if it was done right.
The 59-year-old said: "I'd thought about a sequel to Top Gun for all these years. People had asked for a sequel for decades. Decades. And the thing I said to the studio from the beginning was: 'If I'm ever going to entertain this, we're shooting everything practically.
"I'm in that F/A-18, period. So, we're going to have to develop camera rigs.
"There's going to be wind tunnels and engineering. It's going to take a long, long time for me to figure it out.'"
He added: "For years, people had said, 'Can't you shoot (the movie) with CGI?' And I always said, 'No. That's not the experience.'
"I said, 'I need to find the right story. And we're going to need the right team. This movie is like trying to hit a bullet with a bullet. I'm not playing.'"
Thankfully, it's proven to be worth the wait.
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