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Top Gun: Maverick Director Has One Major Reservation About Another Sequel

If you're a fan of mustaches, the song "Danger Zone," and colorful nicknames that are called out during aerial dogfights, then you've probably seen "Top Gun: Maverick." A sequel to the 1986 film "Top Gun," "Maverick" takes place over 30 years after the original movie, and it brings back some of the original characters. The first film focused on the warring dynamic between Pete Mitchell, aka Maverick (Tom Cruise), and Tom Kazansky, aka Iceman (Val Kilmer), but by the end of the movie, the two set aside their differences and become friends.

Luckily for Maverick, Iceman is eventually promoted to the rank of admiral, and this position of power makes sure that Maverick is never grounded for his constant disrespect of authority, which is a recurring trend for the character. The sequel sees Maverick tapped to train an elite strike force tasked with the destruction of a rogue uranium enrichment plant. "Top Gun: Maverick" has earned over $1.4 billion worldwide, placing the movie in the upper echelons as one of the most profitable of all time (via Box Office Mojo). Considering how the sequel tied into the original, as well as the incredible financial windfall of this recent installment, one might suspect that another "Top Gun" might soon be on the horizon, but it appears as if the director has a serious caveat to expanding the series.

The director of Top Gun: Maverick believes Cruise to be the heart of the story

The overwhelming success of "Top Gun: Maverick" was put front and center in an interview Variety conducted with the filmmakers behind it. Director Joseph Kosinski was handpicked by Tom Cruise for the film, and Kosinski has been absolutely floored by the resounding accomplishment, both financially and critically. When asked if there's a chance for an expanded "Top Gun" franchise or if the series only works with Cruise, Kosinski answered, "Boy, I don't know. I approached [the sequel] as Maverick's rite of passage being the fundamental core of the film. Who knows how it'll be interpreted in the future."

It seems as if Kosinski sees Cruise as the heart of "Top Gun: Maverick" and directed it with this in mind. This isn't to say that there isn't a chance for "Top Gun" movies without Cruise — just that the director personally feels like the actor is important to the films. When asked about his thoughts about a sequel and whether or not he wants "Top Gun: Maverick" to stand on its own, Kosinski replied, "I mean, we're all just so relieved and grateful that we got this one out the door. After so much work, we're obviously enjoying being out there and playing for people."

He continued, "We're not really — at least I'm not really — thinking about the next one. I'm just enjoying this experience. It was a very special confluence of the right group of people in the right story at the right time." If Paramount does indeed move forward without Cruise, it wouldn't be the first time a sequel is made without its original cast members, though Kosinski certainly believes the actor to be crucial to the story of "Top Gun."