Exclusive: Joseph Kosinski Talks Top Gun 2 and TRON 3

While chatting 1:1 with director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion) for his upcoming firefighter drama Only the Brave, ComingSoon.net had the chance to talk to him about directing the upcoming Tom Cruise sequel Top Gun 2, as well as the scuttled threequel Tron: Ascension.

ComingSoon.net: In a lot of ways “Only the Brave” seems like a good trial run for “Top Gun 2,” because the first one was such a patriotic American guy movie. Is that fair to say?

Joseph Kosinski: Yeah, I know! I wasn’t thinking about “Top Gun” when I made “Only the Brave,” but I’ve had a couple of people say that to me. Now that I’m diving into researching the world of Naval aviation, there certainly are a lot of similarities between life in the military and what these guys do. That brotherhood, that camaraderie… There’s certainly some parallels.

CS: When Tony Scott made that movie he was one of the first directors to bring that TV commercial aesthetic to action movies, and it had a very Reagan-era jingoistic propaganda kinda feel to it, for better or worse. Do you plan to honor that aesthetic?

Kosinski: The Navy is very different now than it was in 1986. Back then, they hadn’t been in any war for 15 or 20 years at that point. The tone of that movie and what those guys were doing was very different. Now, here in 2017, the Navy’s been at war for 20 years. It’s just a different world now, so you can’t remake the first movie. It has to adapt. That being said, I certainly want to recreate the experience of that movie, which gives you a front-seat into the world of Naval aviation and what it’s like to be in a fighter jet. The approach is going to be appropriate for the times we live in.

CS: Back in the day it was a lot of bad rear-screen projection for the flying scenes. Do you guys plan to utilize drone technology and other things besides CGI to bring realism to the jet stuff?

Kosinski: Yeah! On “Only the Brave” I was able to make a movie with very little CGI to try to capture as much as I can in-camera as possible, and that will certainly be my method on “Top Gun” as well.

CS: I got to see you work years ago on the set of “Tron: Legacy,” which was a trip for me as a fan of that franchise. It was the scene where you shot Steven Lisberger’s cameo…

Kosinski: Oh! At the End of Line club.

CS: Yeah! I know Ascension got put on the backburner, do you still have any active involvement in the iteration that has Jared Leto attached?

Kosinski: Jared and I had actually been talking about “Tron” since “Tron: Legacy” back in 2009. We almost put him in that movie, actually in that scene! So Jared’s a huge fan and we actually batted around ideas and I was talking to him about that role in “Ascension,” but we only got to the script stage on that. We never really moved beyond that and that’s sort of where it sits for now.

Paramount Pictures has set a Top Gun sequel release date for July 12, 2019. The film, starring the 1986 original’s Tom Cruise, will be directed by Joseph Kosinski, who previously directed Cruise in Oblivion. Although the title Top Gun: Maverick floated around briefly, the film is currently without an official title.

A follow-up to Tony Scott’s 1986 hit has been in the works for quite some time, with Tom Cruise interested in reprising his role as United States Naval Aviator Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer previously outlined that the film will deal with the rise of unmanned drones and pilots becoming a thing of the past.

The original Top Gun was directed by Tony Scott and also starred Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards and Tom Skerritt. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Take My Breath Away” performed by Berlin. In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”


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