The long-awaited sequel Top Gun: Maverick has been released, teasing Tom Cruise’s return to his fan favourite role as a hotshot fighter pilot.

The actor made a surprise appearance at San Diego’s Comic-Con to introduce the footage which shows him back as Maverick, who will be dealing with issues of drone technology and fifth-generation fighters in the sequel. He referred to the film as “a love letter to aviation”.

The trailer paints Maverick as something of a dinosaur, unwilling to progress up the ranks and, according to his senior, played by Ed Harris, facing “extinction”. The new cast includes Miles Teller as the son of Goose, played by Anthony Edwards in the original, who becomes Maverick’s protege. He’ll star alongside the Set It Up breakout Glenn Powell, Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly, Mad Men alum Jon Hamm, Insecure star Jay Ellis and Val Kilmer, returning to play Iceman.

The sequel has been in development since 2010, and will be directed by Joseph Kosinski, who previously worked with Cruise in the sci-fi adventure Oblivion.

“Aviators are back, the need for speed,” Cruise has said of the film. “We’re going to have big, fast machines. It’s going to be a competition film, like the first one … but a progression for Maverick.”

In a new interview with Collider, Hamm has also been hyping the film’s reportedly complex special effects. “They’re using some technology on this that is never before seen,” he said. “We’re shooting the movie in, I think, 6K. So it’s incredibly hi-def. The aerial footage is mind-blowing. And it’s mostly practical. There’s not a lot of CG. Those guys are really up in planes and getting thrown around in multiple Gs.”

Cruise is coming off the back of another commercially successful sequel to Mission: Impossible as well as an underwhelming attempt to reboot The Mummy. The original Top Gun, directed by Tony Scott, was a surprise hit in 1986, making over $350m worldwide.

Top Gun: Maverick will be released on 16 June 2020.

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