Maverick Director Went With a Football Scene Over Volleyball

Maverick Director Went With a Football Scene Over Volleyball

Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski explains why they decided to go with a football scene rather than Top Gun’s iconic volleyball scene.

Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Top Gun: Maverick

Joseph Kosinski, director of Top Gun: Maverick, shares why they chose a football scene over a volleyball scene. The highly anticipated follow-up to 1986’s Top Gun premiered just over two weeks ago to eager audiences. The sequel has so far proved to be a major success, even for the star-studded Tom Cruise. The seasoned actor portrays Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and follows his journey of leading a team of young Top Gun pilots into an impossible mission, something that proves to be difficult in more ways than just one for the Captain.

One of the most iconic scenes from the original Top Gun was the beach volleyball scene, where many viewers began to wonder whether or not Top Gun: Maverick would add one of their own. The original scene features Maverick and his partner LTJG Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards) against Maverick’s rival Lieutenant Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer) and his partner Ron “Slider” Kerner (Rick Rossovich) taking a break from their pilot duties to compete against each other in a game of beach volleyball, where the four flyers are seen shirtless and oiled up. While the football scene in Top Gun: Maverick follows in the same vein, the chosen sport clearly isn’t the same, despite each pilot still being oiled up and showing off to the satisfaction of their audience.

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Related: Top Gun 2’s Ending Plane Has A Deeper Tom Cruise Link Than You Realize

Now, Kosinski has revealed exactly why football was chosen over volleyball in their ode to the iconic scene. In making his decision, the director shares with THR how important it was to make the scene fit into the narrative rather than simply relying on nostalgia. He credits the screenwriters for finding the key to incorporating the scene as a part of Maverick’s training for the pilots, who had the Captain put the teams on both offense and defense at the same time to foreshadow the dogfights of the film’s third act. Rather than focusing on a specific rivalry the way the volleyball scene did in the original, Top Gun: Maverick used their scene to not only serve the plot but also to capture the growing chemistry among the young pilots. See Kosinski’s full explanation below:

When I was prepping the movie, it was the thing that I got asked most about — is there going to be a volleyball scene? — which kind of surprised me. So the challenge was, if we’re going to do a beach scene, we got to work it into the narrative of our story. We’re not just going to do one to do it. Our screenwriting team figured out a smart way to integrate that scene into Maverick’s training. There is a reason — this notion of dog fight football offense and defense at the same time is a nice foreshadowing of what we’re going see in the third act. 

Once it was clear that we were able to push the story forward and continue the narrative, then it was a matter of just having fun and being able to shoot a beach scene for Top Gun and just making the best version of it that I could. Obviously got to give a lot of credit to our cast who worked very hard to prepare themselves for that scene.

Glen Powell in Top Gun: Maverick

The thought that went behind something as simple as recreating an iconic scene is what has helped to make Top Gun: Maverick even more of a success than the original. Every scene had a purpose, both for the overarching story as well as Maverick’s own character growth. The football scene is a great metaphor for what’s to come with the mission and has been massively enjoyed by audiences — especially those who’ve been swayed to see the movie by a 3-second clip of Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller) doing a celebratory dance on the beach. It’s able to capture the essence of the original iconic scene while also becoming its own meaningful moment in the film, as well as one that serves the purpose of the story well.

The massive success of Top Gun: Maverick has already started to cement its place in film history, along with defying the expectations of the sequel curse. While Top Gun and its iconic volleyball scene has grown into its modern-day appreciation, Top Gun: Maverick has received favorable reviews from critics as well as audiences right out the gate. From detail-oriented writing and directing such as this to filming within actual F-18 fighters, every part of the sequel has been made with the utmost appreciation for its audience and its cultural impact. Top Gun: Maverick has already started to define its own iconic status, including a new variation of a notable beach scene.

Next: Wild Top Gun 2 Theory Suggests Maverick Was Dead The Entire Movie

Source: THR

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Molly Brizzell
(95 Articles Published)

Molly Brizzell is a staff writer for Screen Rant with life-long passions for writing, Star Wars, and fan communities. She recently earned her college degree in Writing and Communication with a minor in English and runs her own Star Wars blog with a specialized focus on The Mandalorian. Molly also shares passions for Marvel, Stranger Things, and more, and she may be one of Din Djarin’s biggest fans. See more from her on Twitter: @mollybrizzell

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