Jerry Bruckheimer’s move from Disney to Paramount is now official. The prolific producer and Disney decided to part ways after the box office bust of this summer’s The Lone Ranger, on which Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski argued successfully for a budget north of $200 million. Paramount officially announced today that Bruckheimer has finalized a three-year first-look deal with the studio set to begin next April, returning him to the home where he got his start as the producer of films like Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop, and Days of Thunder.
Per Deadline, Bruckheimer’s first film back at Paramount will be the long-developing Beverly Hills Cop 4, which Brett Ratner will direct after he finishes up Hercules. Eddie Murphy is reprising his role and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol scribes Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec are penning the screenplay. Additionally, the Top Gun sequel is another priority for the studio, with Tom Cruise also attached to return.
It appears that the Top Gun sequel may be dead. Director Tony Scott, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and star Tom Cruise were all enthusiastic about returning for a fighter pilot follow-up, and The Town scribe Peter Craig had even been drafted to craft a screenplay, but sadly Scott’s death earlier this year looks to have put the project in limbo. The New York Times (via The Playlist) reports that Top Gun 2 “has fallen apart,” dashing hopes of seeing a Maverick/Iceman reunion onscreen.
However, Paramount is still moving forward with plans to release a 3D version of the original Top Gun. NYT adds that the studio is considering a February release for the post-converted pic, possibly with a one-week exclusive showing on domestic IMAX screens. Though I know many were looking forward to seeing what would transpire in Top Gun 2, I can’t help thinking that the follow-up is better left untouched now that Scott is no longer with us.
Word of a sequel to Tony Scott’s Top Gun started bubbling up a few years ago. At the time, most believed Tom Cruise would only be returning for a small role and that the film would center on a new young group of pilots. Movement on the sequel began to pick up in the ensuing months, and as recently as February we learned that Peter Craig (The Town) was working on a script for the sequel that would feature Cruise in a starring role and would see Scott return as director.
Paramount President Adam Goodman recently sat down for an extended conversation with THR and he provided updates on a slew of upcoming projects including Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, World War Z, One Shot, another entry in the Mission: Impossible franchise, and the aforementioned Top Gun sequel. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
When last we reported on the status of Top Gun 2, Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor) were supposedly set to draft the sequel. Apparently that never happened and now Peter Craig (The Town) will be starting from scratch. Not to worry, Mr. Craig, because Tom Cruise has thoughts on what the sequel could be about and just how big a role Maverick would play in it. Concrete plot details are non-existent at the moment, but it does seem likely that Cruise will return along with original director, Tony Scott. Top Gun 2 is being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films and David Ellison’s Skydance Productions for Paramount. Hit the jump to see what Cruise and Scott’s take would be on the sequel’s plot.
When Top Gun 2 was first announced last year, the report indicated Tom Cruise would return for a “small role.” Shortly after, screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (Valkyrie) corrected that notion, asserting, “There is no Top Gun 2 in which Maverick is not the starring role.” However, McQuarrie is now busy working on his second directorial feature, One Shot, which stars Cruise. Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor) were brought in to work on the script instead, and it is unclear how big of a role Cruise’s Maverick will play in their story.
Cruise has starting making the rounds to promote the December 16 release of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and as you can imagine, Top Gun 2 came up. Cruise is committed to the project and wants to work with director Tony Scott again, but his involvement is dependent on coming up with the right story. Hit the jump for the interview clip and quotes.
Well that Top Gun sequel is still happening. Variety reports that Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, the screenwriters behind this summer’s Thor and X-Men: First Class, are in negotiations to write the script for the sequel, which Jerry Bruckheimer is producing. When Top Gun 2 was first announced last October, screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) was cooking up the idea for the film. He revealed that Maverick would indeed be the star of the sequel, but there was no confirmation as to Tom Cruise’s involvement. Now, with Miller and Stentz being hired to work on the script, it’s unknown if Maverick is still the lead or if Cruise will be relegated to a cameo while some other young actor will get his shot at stardom with an original role. Tony Scott was also confirmed to be returning to the director’s chair at the time, but its unknown if he still plans on taking the helm. Miller and Stentz are pretty busy guys, as they recently inked a deal to adapt Lev Grossman’s fantasy novel Magicians for a TV series on Fox and they’re writing an adventure film for director Peyton Reed.
Huge Top Gun 2 stories have flown onto our radar the past couple weeks, with reports that scribe Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) had been tapped for screenwriting duties and Tony Scott’s confirmation that he’ll be returning to the director’s chair both breaking. The initial belief was that McQuarrie had incorporated Tom Cruise’s Maverick character in a minor appearance and in hopes of avoiding the cameo from being deemed overtly “obvious”. Now McQuarrie has sent a polite revision of this rumor over to Vulture. His statement: “There is no Top Gun 2 in which Maverick is not the starring role.” Assuming his screenplay is left unscathed and welcomed by all parties involved, it sounds like Tom Cruise is to be expected back in his on-screen pilot’s seat after all. Now we just need to get Iceman on board as his wingman.
Hit the jump for more on Top Gun 2.
A couple weeks ago, we reported that Top Gun 2 was in the works and that offers were out to director Tony Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to return. Hitfix reports that Scott and Bruckheimer will return. Speaking to Hitfix, Scott says he partially wants to examine the end of the fighter pilot and turn his attention to the modern day air force:
These computer geeks — these kids play war games in a trailer in Fallon, Nevada and if we ever went to war or were in the Middle East or the Far East or wherever it is, these guys can actually fly drones. They are unmanned aircraft. They operate them and then they party all night.”
Hit the jump for more on Top Gun 2. Scott’s new film, Unstoppable starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, opens November 12th.
Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (Valkyrie) is working on an idea for Top Gun 2, and Paramount is eager to get the project up and running, with offers out to the original producer/director team of Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott to return. McQuarrie has even devised a way to include Tom Cruise in a minor reprisal of his role as Maverick: Cruise is game as long the role isn’t too “obvious.”
Hit the jump to for an attempt to answer the question, “Why now?”