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Top Gun (franchise)

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Top Gun
Created byJim Cash
Jack Epps Jr.
Original work"Top Guns" (1983 article)
by Ehud Yonay
OwnerParamount Pictures
Films and television
Video game(s)List of video games
Original music"Danger Zone"
"Take My Breath Away"
"Heaven in Your Eyes"
"Mighty Wings"
"Playing with the Boys"
"Top Gun Anthem"
"Hold My Hand"
"I Ain't Worried"

Top Gun is an American action drama multimedia franchise based on the 1983 article "Top Guns" by Ehud Yonay, which was adapted into the eponymous 1986 film, written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr. The original film portrays Tom Cruise as Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a young naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, who with his radar intercept officer, LTJG Nick "Goose" Bradshaw, are given the chance to train at the US Navy's Fighter Weapons School at Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.

Produced and released by Paramount Pictures, Top Gun became a cultural phenomenon and, despite receiving mixed reviews, was acclaimed for its groundbreaking visual effects and energetic soundtrack. It was followed by the 2022 sequel film Top Gun: Maverick, which takes place 36 years after the events of the first film and depicts Maverick's reluctant return to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, where he must confront his past as he trains a group of younger aviators, among them the son of his deceased best friend. Top Gun: Maverick was met with greater critical and commercial success than the original, with praise for its story, performances, emotional weight, and flying sequences.


Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Story by Producer(s)
Top Gun May 16, 1986 (1986-05-16) Tony Scott Jim Cash & Jack Epps Jr. Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer
Top Gun: Maverick May 27, 2022 (2022-05-27) Joseph Kosinski Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer & Christopher McQuarrie Peter Craig & Justin Marks Tom Cruise, David Ellison, Jerry Bruckheimer and Christopher McQuarrie

Top Gun (1986)[edit]

Top Gun: Maverick (2022)[edit]


In May 2022, Miles Teller stated that he had been pitching a follow-up film centered around his character to the studio. The actor referred to his pitch as Top Gun: Rooster.[1] By July of the same year, he stated that he has been having ongoing discussions regarding a sequel with Tom Cruise.[2]


In October 2023, it was announced that a docuseries was in development centered around the real-life stories of military recruits and their journey through the titular Navy pilot school and its Advanced Flight Training Program. Titled Top Gun: The Next Generation, the show will be developed by showrunner Karen Edwards, in collaboration with director Lana Salah and executive producer Tanya Shaw. The series will be a joint-venture production between National Geographic Originals, Rex Entertainment, and Zinc Media Group for an exclusive release through National Geographic.[3][4]

Cast and crew[edit]


List indicator(s)

This section includes characters who will appear or have appeared in the franchise in main roles.

  • An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's official presence has not yet been confirmed.
Character Films
Top Gun Top Gun: Maverick
Pete "Maverick" Mitchell Tom Cruise
Tom "Iceman" Kazansky Val Kilmer
Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood Kelly McGillis
Nick "Goose" Bradshaw Anthony Edwards Mentioned
Carole Bradshaw Meg Ryan Mentioned
Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw Aaron and Adam Weis Miles Teller
Mike "Viper" Metcalf Tom Skerritt
Rick "Jester" Heatherly Michael Ironside
Bill "Cougar" Cortell John Stockwell
Leonard "Wolfman" Wolfe Barry Tubb
Ron "Slider" Kerner Rick Rossovich
Sam "Merlin" Wells Tim Robbins
Marcus "Sundown" Williams Clarence Gilyard
Rick "Hollywood" Neven Whip Hubley
Tom "Stinger" Jardian James Tolkan
Charles "Chipper" Piper Adrian Pasdar
Penelope "Penny" Benjamin Mentioned Jennifer Connelly
Beau "Cyclone" Simpson Jon Hamm
Jake "Hangman" Seresin Glen Powell
Robert "Bob" Floyd Lewis Pullman
Chester "Hammer" Cain Ed Harris
Solomon "Warlock" Bates Charles Parnell
Natasha "Phoenix" Trace Monica Barbaro
Reuben "Payback" Fitch Jay Ellis
Mickey "Fanboy" Garcia Danny Ramirez
Javy "Coyote" Machado Greg Davis
Bernie "Hondo" Coleman Bashir Salahuddin
Billy "Fritz" Avalone Manny Jacinto
Logan "Yale" Lee Raymond Lee
Brigham "Harvard" Lennox Jake Picking
Neil "Omaha" Vikander Jack Schumacher
Callie "Halo" Bassett Kara Wang
Amelia Benjamin Lyliana Wray
Sarah Kazansky Jean Louisa Kelly
Jimmy James Handy

Crew and production details[edit]

Film Composers Cinematographer Editors Production companies Distributing company Runtime
Top Gun Harold Faltermeyer & Giorgio Moroder Jeffrey L. Kimball Billy Weber & Chris Lebenzon Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films Paramount Pictures 1 hr 50 mins
Top Gun: Maverick Lady Gaga, Lorne Balfe, Hans Zimmer & Harold Faltermeyer Claudio Miranda Eddie Hamilton Skydance Media,
Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films
2 hrs 10 mins


Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office Budget Ref.
North America Other territories Worldwide
Top Gun May 16, 1986 $180,470,489 $176,999,033 $357,469,522 $15,000,000 [5][6]
Top Gun: Maverick May 27, 2022 $718,732,821 $770,000,000 $1,488,732,821 $170,000,000 [7][8]
Total $899,203,310 $946,999,033 $1,810,919,866 $185 million [9][10]

Critical and public response[edit]

Film Critical Public
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Top Gun 58% (76 reviews)[11] 50 (15 reviews)[12] A[13]
Top Gun: Maverick 96% (444 reviews)[14] 78 (63 reviews)[15] A+[13]


Academy Awards received by the Top Gun franchise
Category 1987[16] 2023[17]
Top Gun Top Gun: Maverick
Best Picture Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Best Film Editing Nominated Nominated
Best Sound Nominated Won
Best Sound Editing Nominated
Best Original Song Won Nominated
Best Visual Effects Nominated



Title U.S. release date Length Label
Top Gun May 13, 1986 38:38 Columbia Records
Top Gun: Maverick (Music from the Motion Picture) May 27, 2022 43:35 Interscope Records


The soundtrack to the original film reached number one in the US charts for five nonconsecutive weeks in the summer and autumn of 1986. It was the best selling soundtrack of 1986 and is still one of the best selling soundtrack albums of all time.[18][19] The soundtrack spawned two top 10 singles on the US charts, with the song "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins peaking at number two and the song "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin reaching number one, the latter of which would also go on to win both the Academy Award for Best Original Song[20] and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.[21] According to Allmusic, the album "remains a quintessential artifact of the mid-'80s", and the album's hits "still define the bombastic, melodramatic sound that dominated the pop charts of the era."[19]

The soundtrack to the sequel featured the singles "Hold My Hand" by Lady Gaga and "I Ain't Worried" by OneRepublic, with the latter becoming a top 10 hit. The score of the film harkened back to the original film's sound and was noted by Zanobard Reviews as a "thoroughly entertaining and incredibly nostalgic musical experience from beginning to end".[22]

Other media[edit]

Top Gun also spawned a number of video games for various platforms. The original game was released in 1986 under the same title as the film. It was released on Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, and Atari ST. Another game, also titled Top Gun, was released in 1987 for Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Nintendo VS. System arcade cabinets. In the 1987 game, the player pilots an F-14 Tomcat fighter, and has to complete four missions. A sequel, Top Gun: The Second Mission, was released for the NES three years later.

Another game, Top Gun: Fire at Will, was released in 1996 for the PC and later for the Sony PlayStation platform. Top Gun: Hornet's Nest was released in 1998. Top Gun: Combat Zones was released for PlayStation 2 in 2001 and was subsequently released for the GameCube and Microsoft Windows. Combat Zones features other aircraft besides the F-14. In 2006, another game simply titled Top Gun was released for the Nintendo DS. A 2010 game, also titled Top Gun, retells the film's story. At E3 2011, a new game was announced, Top Gun: Hard Lock, which was released in March 2012 for Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3.


  1. ^ Griffiths, Elliott (May 25, 2022). "Miles Teller Open To Top Gun: Maverick Sequel Involving His Character". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on July 9, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  2. ^ Gawley, Paige (July 7, 2022). "Miles Teller Says He's Had 'Conversations' With Tom Cruise About Possible 'Top Gun 3' (Exclusive)". Entertainment Tonight. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  3. ^ Hibberd, James (October 16, 2023). "'Top Gun: The Next Generation' TV Series to Go Inside Navy Pilot School". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 16, 2023. Retrieved October 16, 2023.
  4. ^ White, Peter (October 16, 2023). "'Top Gun: The Next Generation' Docuseries Flies To Nat Geo". Deadline. Archived from the original on October 16, 2023. Retrieved October 16, 2023.
  5. ^ "Top Gun (1986)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on December 19, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  6. ^ "Top Gun (1986)". The Numbers. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  7. ^ "Top Gun: Maverick (2022)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on July 11, 2022. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  8. ^ "Top Gun: Maverick (2022)". The Numbers. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  9. ^ "Top Gun (Franchise)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on July 11, 2022. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  10. ^ "Top Gun (Franchise)". The Numbers. Archived from the original on July 11, 2022. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  11. ^ "Top Gun". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  12. ^ "Top Gun". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  13. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 29, 2022). "'Top Gun: Maverick' Scorches Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End For Memorial Day Opening Record With $160M+ – Tuesday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 30, 2022. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  14. ^ "Top Gun: Maverick". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  15. ^ "Top Gun: Maverick". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  16. ^ "The 59th Academy Awards (1987) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on November 9, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  17. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (March 12, 2023). "Oscars: Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 13, 2023. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  18. ^ Denisoff, R. Serge; Romanowski, William D. (December 31, 2011). Risky Business: Rock in Film. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 9781412833370. Archived from the original on October 30, 2023. Retrieved March 13, 2024.
  19. ^ a b "Top Gun [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] - Original Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on March 21, 2023. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "The 59th Academy Awards | 1987". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on October 2, 2019. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  21. ^ "Winners & Nominees 1987". Golden Globes. Archived from the original on January 19, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  22. ^ Zanobard (May 27, 2022). "Top Gun: Maverick – Soundtrack Review". Zanobard Reviews. Archived from the original on May 27, 2022. Retrieved May 27, 2022.