Although it's been almost three decades since the release of Top Gun, don't be surprised if it ends up having a sequel one day.
During its initial release in 1986, Top Gun topped the box office and grossed a total of $176 million on a $15 million budget. Despite receiving a mixed response from critics, audiences instantly fell in love with the film. Even to this day, people continue to watch the film over and over again for its irresistible nostalgic value. Anyone who's seen it is pretty much conditioned to drool at the mere sound of Kenny Loggins' Danger Zone like one of Pavlov's dogs.
Fortunately for fans, Tom Cruise himself understands why the original film is widely considered to be a classic. According to most fans and even critics, the aerobatic scenes involving real working fighter jets are some of the most exciting stunt scenes ever put to film. One can easily argue that real-life stunts like the ones in Top Gun are more immersive than the CGI set pieces often seen today. It is this commitment to authenticity that Cruise hopes is brought back to Top Gun 2 if it gets made.
In a recent interview with Extra, Tom Cruise said of his involvement with a possible Top Gun sequel:
"If I can figure it out, if all of us can figure it out, it’d be fun to do, I’d like to fly those jets again, but we got to do all the jets practical, no CGI on the jets… I’m saying right now no CGI on the jets. If we can figure all that out, and the Department of Defense will allow us to do it, that would be fun.”
Considering the success of Jurassic World, nostalgia can skyrocket a film to success. Of course, one can argue that nostalgia can only go so far. While Jurassic World received universal acclaim from audiences, something like Terminator: Genisys failed once the word got out on its mediocre quality. The bottom line is that while nostalgia can carry a film, its quality is ultimately the deciding factor in its success.
With that being said, Tom Cruise is clearly aware that when it comes to movies driven by nostalgia, it's important to give audiences what they want. You want fans of the original to come back and be pleased with what they see on screen after years of dreaming of a sequel. In the case of Top Gun 2, fans want an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride with real jets doing real stunts.