Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Top Gun: Maverick Doesn't Feature Kenny Loggins' Updated 'Danger Zone'

On May 27, just in time for Memorial Day weekend, audiences worldwide finally got to see the much-anticipated "Top Gun: Maverick," the long-awaited sequel to the 1986 Tom Cruise hit, "Top Gun." This time around, we follow celebrated pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Cruise) as he returns to the Top Gun program to train a new band of young fighter pilots, one of which is the son of his deceased friend, Goose. To say audiences ate it up would be an understatement. It has received critical acclaim, currently holding a 96% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes. On top of that, it has broken box office records, officially becoming the biggest Memorial Day opener of all time, earning over $160 million worldwide. This beats out the previous spot holder, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" (via Box Office Mojo).

To say the over 30-year wait was worth it would be putting it lightly. While the film brings plenty fresh to the table with its new cast of likable characters and boundary-pushing filmmaking, fans of the original can be assured that "Maverick" keeps the spirit of its predecessor throughout. That includes the original's iconic soundtrack, with the inclusion of Harold Faltermeyer's memorable "Top Gun Anthem" and Kenny Loggins' hit song "Danger Zone" in the sequel. However, while fans are sure to appreciate the love given to keeping those old songs intact, there's a reason as to why they aren't updated that fans may not be aware of.

The director preferred the original version

In an interview with Variety, songwriter Kenny Loggins talked of his original intention to re-record "Danger Zone" for "Top Gun: Maverick." "The director met with me when I was playing at the Hollywood Bowl," he said. "He wanted to see if I would try a remake of 'Danger Zone' and he wanted to try a remake of 'Playing with the Boys' because now there are female pilots."

However, during the recording process, director John Kosinski had a change of mind. "I did a duet with Butterfly Boucher, who's an Australian punk rocker, but it didn't fit the movie," Loggins explained. "It's out there streaming ... somewhere." Commenting further on if the new version is featured in the sequel, the singer said, "No, I tried to do a re-recording where it sounded, if not exactly like the original, as close as possible — but with better audio and sounds. Because that was 36 years ago and the audio had only gone so far." He added that Kosinski wanted the soundtrack of "Maverick" to have the feel of the first "Top Gun" film, which is why the sequel's soundtrack features only the original 1986 version of "Danger Zone."

"Danger Zone" was originally written by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock for the original film. The song was written and the team searched for a singer. After going through a number of performers, including the band Starship, Loggins was brought on board to sing the song and would make his own additions before finally recording it (via AXS TV). The song would go on to top the charts and help the original's soundtrack be one of the best-selling of all time (via AllMusic).