Maverick Director Q&A – Deadline

KOSINSKI: He says we talked about it, but to be honest I can’t remember any specific conversations. That being said, the crew t-shirt showed the oblivion Top Gun logo style title maybe the idea was floating around in my subconscious.

This project started when Jerry and I flew to Paris to present my approach to Tom. I started the discussion with what I believe should be the emotional core of the film: Maverick and Goose’s son’s broken relationship as they face a dangerous combat mission that would take them both deep into enemy territory. as soon as i said that, I could see the wheels start turning in Tom’s head.

The second part of the pitch was my idea of ​​what Maverick is doing in the Navy when we meet him at the opening of the movie, the whole top secret “Darkstar” sequence. Then I talked about how we could practically shoot the whole thing using a new camera system that would allow us to put one camera in the cockpit (we eventually figured out how to put six cameras in there). And finally I said that we shouldn’t call it Top gun 2it should be Top Gun: Maverick because it’s a character-driven transition story, just like the first one. I also mocked a poster, which ended up being what he posted on Instagram when we started filming. After I finished my pitch, Tom picked up his phone and called the head of the studio and said we were going to do the film. Definitely a moment I won’t forget.

DEADLINE: The film does a fantastic job of balancing the nostalgia of the first film with new elements. Once you got the job, what was most important to you, Tom and the team in terms of paying homage to the original while giving it a fresh feel?

KOSINSKI: We said from the beginning that we didn’t want to do the “cover band” version of Top Gun. The film should acknowledge the past but also bring new elements to the table through story, characters and visuals. At times it felt like we were looking a little too far back to make adjustments either To change a scene or cut it completely.

DEADLINE: The ensemble cast is impressive from top to bottom. Rooster, the son of Maverick’s co-pilot Goose, played by Anthony Edwards, was pivotal and the auditions were endless. You previously worked with Miles on Only the Brave; What about his first meetings and tests made you feel like he was the right man for the role of Goose’s son?

KOSINSKI: One of the scenes we tested with was the confrontation between Maverick and Rooster in the “ready room”. a rather tense confrontation between the two that is the result of years of resentment and guilt. It’s the kind of scene that sits in Miles’ wheelhouse and reinforces the idea that the actor playing the role must have strong dramatic skills and be able to keep up with the intensity of TC.

DEADLINE: The original Top Gun was ahead of its time for its cinematography during these aerial scenes, but the new film has more of a cockpit feel. How did you plan and execute these scenes?

KOSINSKI: It was a 15 month process from concept to execution, working closely with the Navy to create the design and obtain approvals to fit 6 IMAX quality cameras in the cockpit. The actors undertook a three-month pilot training course designed by Tom to prepare them for the forces on their bodies. They were also required to complete Navy Underwater Training before entering the F-18. We created over 3800 storyboards for the film to prepare the aerial sequences and preview certain sections. Every day we started with a two-hour briefing that all the pilots and actors attended. We went through each shot, talking about camera angles, jet choreography, lighting, weather, and most importantly, safety. I then rehearsed with the actors and their Navy pilots for an hour in a wooden model of the F-18 (called “Bock”) before they boarded the real plane. They would make their flight, capture the footage all by themselves, then we would review it as soon as they landed, take notes and send them back up in the afternoon. It was a tedious way to shoot, but the only way to get the footage we wanted. I have to give our actors tremendous credit for all the blood, sweat and tears. It was a monumental team effort.

DEADLINE: As for the non-flying scenes, the script that sets the emotional tone, especially when it comes to Mavericks and Rooster’s relationship arc. How much help was McQuarrie with the final product?

KOSINSKI: The Mav/Rooster and Mav/Penny scenes were the ones we spent the most writing, rewriting (and rewriting). The basics of the story were there, but one of McQ’s superpowers is his ability to craft a scene to suit the specific actor playing the role. He knows how to draw on their strengths and really let them shine. ThatIt’s just one of the reasons he and Tom are so successful together.

DEADLINE: Timing is everything in this industry and I think this movie, coming out on Memorial Day to boost the summer box office, is an enviable slot. Given the Covid delays, were you concerned the film might never make it to a packed cinema?

KOSINSKI: I never doubted that we would wait for theaters to come back, but I was concerned that the film might somehow become a bit stale once it hit the shelves. The surprising thing is that the pandemic and the state of the world have made the film feel more relevant now than ever. People look forward to going back to cinema and I canDon’t wait to see it with a full house.

DEADLINE: Has there been any talk at all about the future of the franchise and whether there will be sequels or spin-offs – a Hangman limited series on Paramount+ for example – Are possible?

KOSINSKI: That was such a monumental task. We’ll all just enjoy showing it to the world. But I can’t wait to see where this cast goes with their future careers.

DEADLINE: Switch to Spiderhead, it’s different from your event films. What drew you to the story, and did the Top Gun delays present an opportunity to finish this film sooner than you anticipated?

KOSINSKI: The script was like nothing I had read before. It had a very distinct tone and an intriguing character in the middle. It’s a genre-bending film that offered unique direction Challenging in both the very understated nature of the story/world and the maniacal performances demanded of the actors. I went straight into pre-production in Australia spider head right after graduation Top Gun: Maverick So I’ve been busy while Maverick sat on the shelf and the world was stuck in lockdown.

DEADLINE: Chris Hemsworth surprises with what feels like his first real role as a villain.

KOSINSKI: Yes, I agree. Every day he amazed me (and the entire cast/crew) with his preparation and dedication to this incredible performance. I can’t wait for people to see the character he created and how incredibly complex and funny he can be.

DEADLINE: Before I let you go, what about your F1 pic at Apple with Brad Pitt? Is this going to be your next project and do you have any idea when you’ll get it in front of the cameras?

KOSINSKI: We are preparing it now and I hope that next year we will shoot during the 2023 F1 season. I’m producing it with Jerry Bruckheimer, Lewis Hamilton and Plan B, so I have a dream team of collaborators here.

DEADLINE: Finally, now that you are finally able to bring these two films in front of audiences, what is your hope that they take away from both and how they see you as a director in the years to come?

KOSINSKI: With Top Gun: Maverick I hope it shows people why we make movies. The film was designed for that be enjoyed on the biggest screen with a full audience. spider head is a reminder that not everything has to be based on known IP and that the best special effect can be a fantastic achievement. I hope to be known as a director who works hard to deliver at the highest level regardless of the size of the film and hopefully tells a story in a way that you likenever seen or heard of it. Thatto sit.

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