In his own Top Gun sequel, Tony Scott planned to portray Maverick as a retired man being recruited into a drone program. Pilots who fly unmanned drones in the real world tend to be pilots with years of flying experience – so this would fit Maverick’s role very well. What fascinated Tony Scott about this idea was the new way of warfare using drone technology: After all, the pilot can theoretically sit somewhere in a gazebo at home and drop bombs in war zones from there.
There was no trace of this technological breakthrough in military technology in “Top Gun: Maverick”, instead a scenario was constructed in which manned aircraft absolutely had to be used. Among other things, this may also be related to the fact that the then immensely expensive blockbuster “Stealth – Unter dem Radar”, in which drone pilots actually played a role, flopped in 2005 and buried the topic in Hollywood for a few years.
For a third “Top Gun” film, however, it would be a logical step to retire the character of the now 60-year-old Tom Cruise and let him be active as a drone pilot – perhaps as support for manned aircraft, in which recurring stars will then appear from Part 2 like Miles Teller and Glen Powell. Top Gun 3 hasn’t been officially announced yet, but if Paramount is already planning the future of the series, it’s worth checking out this plot draft from the past.