Top Gun Maverick director Joseph Kosinski (Tron, Oblivion) estimates that the sum total of footage shot for the film could approach the entirety of that of Peter Jackson's original Lord of the Rings trilogy.
A finding that seems more than plausible when you know that the director, like his predecessor Tony Scott for Top Gun, favored a “real” filming method inside and outside the cockpits, without green screens. Not to mention that Tom Cruise has himself proven for years his ability to pilot all kinds of flying objects himself and his requirement on the subject (he also produces the film) must touch on the sidereal puzzle.
30 seconds of good footage in one day
The filmmaker told Empire: “In a 12 or 14 hour day, you can get 30 seconds of good footage. But it's so hard-won. It just took a long time to get everything. Months and months of aerial shots (…) I think we have 800 hours of images. It wasn't just about getting external aircraft footage, there was also all the footage in the cockpits, which involved the actors getting familiar with the camera equipment”.
And Tom Cruise added to the US media: “We had to teach the actors lighting, cinematography, editing. I had to teach them how to turn the cameras on and off, as well as know the angles and lenses of the cameras. We didn't have unlimited time on those jets. If they were on board for 20-30 minutes, I had to make sure we had what we needed.” Numbers that make your head spin, a thoughtful thought for the editors…
Top start in Cannes in May
Result of the races - air pursuits - in Cannes on May 18, 2022 where Top Gun: Maverick will be presented to the Cannes public and by Tom Cruise himself, who will be present on the Croisette (see the program here). Joseph Kosinsky's film will be released in France on May 25.