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Tom Cruise will return as Maverick in Top Gun 3

Tom Cruise looks set to reprise his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in a third Top Gun movie.

The 61-year-old action star first played the character in 1986’s Top Gun and returned in 2022 for Top Gun: Maverick, which was a massively successful box office hit grossing $1.496bn worldwide.

Now, Puck reports that Paramount has commissioned Top Gun: Maverick screenwriter Ehren Kruger to start work on a third instalment in the franchise.

Additionally, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the studio also plans for director Joseph Kosinski to return and for Cruise to reunite with his co-stars Glen Powell and Miles Teller.

While it’s no surprise that Paramount would look to repeat the success of Top Gun: Maverick, the news has caused some eyebrows to be raised in Hollywood as Cruise recently signed a new deal with rival studio Warner Bros.

Cruise will develop and star in films for Warner Bros, but the contract is non-exclusive so the star can continue working on Top Gun 3 at Paramount.

Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ (Paramount Pictures)
Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ (Paramount Pictures)

As well as being a commercial hit, Top Gun: Maverick was also nominated for Best Picture at last year’s Oscars.

At the time, Steven Spielberg said he was “encouraged” to see the blockbuster on the shortlist along with Avatar: The Way of Water.

“I’m really encouraged by that,” said the legendary ET director. “[But] it came late for the film that should have been nominated a number of years ago, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

“That movie would have definitely garnered a Best Picture Nomination today, so having these two blockbusters solidly presented on the top 10 list is something we should all be celebrating.”

In her four-star review of Top Gun: Maverick for The Independent, film critic Clarisse Loughrey wrote: “The film is a true legacy sequel. In the tradition of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s a carefully reconstructed clone of its predecessor, tooled not only to reflect changing tastes and attitudes, but the ascendancy of its star Tom Cruise to a level of fame that borders on the mythological. Do we still think of Cruise as a man these days, or as an idea?”

She added: “But Top Gun: Maverick really isn’t packed with the kind of craven nostalgia that we’re used to these days. It’s smarter, subtler, and wholly more humanistic.”