'Top Gun: Behind Closed Doors' Preview: An inside look at the Tom Cruise classic that almost wasn't made

'Top Gun: Behind Closed Doors' Preview:  An inside look at the Tom Cruise classic that almost wasn't made
Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards in Top Gun (IMDb)

It has been over 30 years and Tom Cruise's film 'Top Gun' still continues to enthrall and entertain viewers. Its sequel 'Top Gun: Maverick' will be hitting the screens in December, and generate excitement for its predecessor. 'Top Gun' tells the story of an elite group of naval aviators, who are training in the legendary Miramar Elite Fighter School.  Pete, aka Maverick, (Cruise) and his partner Goose (Anthony Edwards) are pitted against Iceman (Val Kilmer), Cougar (John Stockwell), Wolfman (Barry Tubb), Slider (Rick Rossovich), and others who are all competing for the trophy to see who is the best in their class. Viper (Tom Skerritt) is the instructor along with Charlie (Kelly McGillis), the civilian expert. Maverick is a cocky and confident being, who rushes headlong into trouble. He is also a great pilot, provided he doesn't let his ego get the better of him. However, after he suffers a devastating crisis, it remains to be seen whether he will regain his former glory. 


The film is known for its soundtrack as well as iconic dialogues that have become part of pop culture. 'I have the need ... the need for speed' as well as 'Son, your ego is writing cheques that your body can't cash'. 

'Top Gun: Behind Closed Doors' is a documentary that takes a look at the classic that was almost never made because of technical and other legal hurdles. The official synopsis for the documentary reads, "Based on real stories told by US Navy fighter pilots, Top Gun changed the way the post-Vietnam public viewed the military. It catapulted Tom Cruise into superstardom and helped launched the careers of a band of young stars including Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Meg Ryan, and Tim Robbins.


With mega-producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer at the helm and the visionary eye of director Tony Scott, 'Top Gun' placed audiences inside the cockpit through striking aerial footage alongside a hit soundtrack. Behind Closed Doors takes an inside look at the American classic that was almost never made. Not only did it face a mountain of challenges but there was one including who to cast for the iconic role of Maverick. There were many potential actors who almost donned Maverick’s shades and leather jacket: Patrick Swayze, Sean Penn, Emilio Estevez, Matthew Broderick, Michael J. Fox, Tom Hanks and John Cusack. Then there was also the tragic death of famed stunt pilot Art Scholl during production. Scholl’s last words heard over the radio were chilling: “I have a problem… I have a real problem.”


Initially dismissed by a number of critics, 'Top Gun' made its way into American culture and became one of the most profitable films in the history of Paramount Pictures. According to Collider, 'Top Gun' caused the Navy’s recruitment rates to skyrocket 500 percent. The Navy even set up enlistment booths in theatres playing the movie. 

Catch the whole show on Reelz, on June 21, Sunday at 8 pm.  


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