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Tom Cruise drops the first official photo for the ‘Top Gun’ sequel

Get ready to feel the need for speed all over again. After years of rumors, Top Gun 2 is officially hitting theaters in July 2019, and now we have the first photo from the set of the film. Set to reunite Tom Cruise with Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski, the Top Gun sequel will bring back hotshot Navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Cruise) for a story reportedly dealing with the rise of unmanned drones in the military.

The only cast member officially confirmed for the film at this point, Cruise posted a photo on Twitter from the first day of production on the film.

#Day1 pic.twitter.com/7jjPL277Es — Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) May 31, 2018

The May 31 photo features Cruise back in his flight suit, with the tagline “Feel The Need” superimposed over the image. Tom Cruise first confirmed the sequel in May 2017 during an appearance on the Australian show Sunrise when the hosts asked him about the long-standing rumors.

Apparently, he decided to finally let the cat out of the bag because he confirmed the news and revealed not only that “it’s true,” but also that he’ll start filming “probably in the next year.” Even though the show’s hosts had specifically brought up the subject, they seemed hilariously shocked when Cruise actually confirmed the rumors. It makes sense why, though.

In spite of producer Jerry Bruckheimer teasing possible plots since at least 2014 and Val Kilmer letting slip in late 2015 that he’d been offered the chance to reprise his role, the hosts were the first to get a confirmation from Cruise himself.

WORLDWIDE EXCLUSIVE: @TomCruise just confirmed that Top Gun 2 is happening! "I’m gonna start filming it probably in the next year". #sun7 pic.twitter.com/X17xvxz4Q4 — Sunrise (@sunriseon7) May 23, 2017

Variety later reported that Kosinski had already been hired to direct the film. The report claimed that Cruise met with several potential directors ahead of shooting for Mission: Impossible – Fallout in London to ensure production was ready to begin quickly. Deadline later confirmed the news regarding Kosinski, but studio Paramount Pictures didn’t make anything official until a month later when it announced the 2019 release date for the film.

The original, 1986 action flick helped propel Cruise to superstardom in the role of a cocky young pilot who gets the opportunity to train with the Navy’s elite Fighter Weapons School in San Diego. He was joined by his radar intercept officer Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (played by Anthony Edwards), and the film also starred Kilmer as Maverick’s rival, Tom “Iceman” Kazanski. Kelly McGillis portrayed civilian instructor Charlie Blackwood in the film, and Tim Robbins played fellow pilot Sam “Merlin” Wells.

Directed by Tony Scott, the film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Take My Breath Away performed by Berlin. In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Paramount Pictures has the film scheduled to hit theaters July 12, 2019.

Updated on May 31: Added the first photo from production on the film.

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