Joseph Kosinski on ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Football Scene


Kosinski said that all of his actors felt the pressure to live up to the legendary volleyball scene from “Top Gun.”

Courtesy of Paramount

Top Gun: Maverick” was overwhelmingly praised for its ability to bring fresh versions of moments and tropes from the original “Top Gun” into the 21st century. One of the best examples is a scene where Tom Cruise leads his group of pilots in a co-ed game of pickup football on the beach. The scene was an obvious homage to the infamously campy Kenny Loggins-scored volleyball scene from the original film, and quickly became a fan favorite moment.

Speaking to IndieWire on the red carpet of the Critics Choice Awards, “Top Gun: Maverick” director Joseph Kosinski reflected on the experience of shooting the football scene, which he called one of his most memorable days on set.

“One that I get asked about a lot, which was a very memorable day, was when we shot the beach football scene,” Kosinski said. “The actors were in a very kind of stressed out state, they’d all been working so hard to get ready for that scene. They were under the pressure, the weight of the original scene being so iconic. I remember Glen went out 110 percent on the first play and hurt himself, but he was able to recover quickly and we were able to get a great version of it.”

Kosinski has never tried to hide the pressure that he felt about making a sequel to an iconic film that fans had been waiting almost 40 years for. But in an interview with IndieWire prior to the film’s release, Kosinski expressed relief about the fact that fans of the original film were just as enthusiastic about his movie as those who were unfamiliar with the original.

“We did a little bit of audience testing,” he said. “What was a surprise to us was, whether or not you had seen the first film, people were rating the film exactly the same. There was no difference between ‘Top Gun’ fans and non-‘Top Gun’ fans. I could have never anticipated that, but I do think people could potentially get more out of it if they’ve seen the first film. But people seem to enjoy it either way.” 

Watch IndieWire’s red carpet interview with Kosinski below.

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