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‘Top Gun: Maverick’ cast lands on USS Midway as it makes its world premiere in San Diego

Cast and filmmakers pose for the cameras at the global premiere of Top Gun: Maverick
San Diego, California - May 04: Cast and filmmakers pose for the cameras at the global premier of Top Gun: Maverick. Cast and filmmakers attended the event on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Alejandro Tamayo / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
(Alejandro Tamayo/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

An exclusive film screening of the ‘Top Gun’ sequel is happening in the Gaslamp Quarter tonight, with Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly and others expected to be in attendance

World premieres are usually reserved for Los Angeles. Yet the magic of Hollywood will be in none other than downtown San Diego tonight, where there will be an exclusive screening of the film “Top Gun: Maverick” at the San Diego Civic Theatre.

The film is a sequel to the original “Top Gun,” released in 1986. It’s been a long time coming for the sequel’s release, which originally began shooting in 2018 but faced multiple delays, some of which were pandemic-related. (Not to mention the 36-year delay from the original film’s release.)

“Top Gun” star Tom Cruise, who plays fighter pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, made quite an entrance early this afternoon, landing on the deck of the USS Midway in a helicopter emblazoned with the “Top Gun: Maverick” logo. He stepped out of the helicopter, his long hair blowing in the wind, waved and beamed his signature smile to crowds gathered on the aircraft carrier.

“Top Gun: Maverick” premiere is May 4; theater release is May 27

The film is a sequel to the original “Top Gun,” released in 1986. It’s been a long time coming for the sequel’s release, which originally began shooting in 2018 but faced multiple delays, some of which were pandemic-related.

He was joined on the red carpet by fellow star Jennifer Connelly, along with other cast members, including Miles Teller, Paul Bettany, Kyle Dugan, Jon Hamm and Monica Barbaro. Also in attendance: director Joe Kosinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

Not confirmed for tonight are two Grammy Award-winning musicians connected to the film: Kenny Loggins and Lady Gaga. Loggins’ 1986 single “Danger Zone,” featured in the original “Top Gun” film, will return to the sequel’s soundtrack. Also on the track list is Lady Gaga’s power ballad “Hold My Hand,” which was just released on Tuesday.

So why host the premiere in San Diego?

As most locals know, many scenes from the original film were shot in the city. Prominently featured locations include Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Kansas City Barbeque in the Marina District, and historic Graves House in Oceanside. Based on sightings and social media posts, the sequel is also anticipated to feature a few familiar San Diego settings, including Coronado and Point Loma.

Ahead of the screening, there was a private red carpet event held on the USS Midway this afternoon. Some of the actors made grand entrances — including Cruise’s arrival in a helicopter.

While tonight’s screening is closed to the public, fans may be able to see the action on the streets of Gaslamp Quarter and perhaps steal a glimpse of a few celebrity arrivals.

“Top Gun: Maverick” is scheduled for a wide release in the U.S. on May 27. There will also be early access screenings held on May 24 at select theaters. For details, visit topgunmovie.com.

Considering few movies are filmed in the picturesque town of San Diego — even “Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy,” which is set in San Diego, shot nearly all of its footage in Los Angeles — “Top Gun” is close to the heart of many locals.

Here are some more photos from the surprise San Diego premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Cell phones aimed at the helicopter that flies Tom Cruise at the premiere.
(Alejandro Tamayo / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Tom Cruise arrives in a helicopter to the global premieer of Top Gun: Maverick.
(Alejandro Tamayo / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
The cast takes a photo at the premeire.
(Alejandro Tamayo / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
F/18s do a fly over near the USS Midway Museum for the "Top Gun: Maverick" world premiere.
(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Actor Tom Cruise exits a helicopter on the deck of the USS Midway Museum.
(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Jay Hernandez at the global premiere of Top Gun: Maverick.
(Alejandro Tamayo / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Jennifer Connelly who plays Penny Benjamin attends the global premiere of Top Gun: Maverick.
(Alejandro Tamayo/The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Glen Powell, who plays Hangman, attends the global premiere of Top Gun: Maverick.
(Alejandro Tamayo / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
The cast takes a photo.
(Alejandro Tamayo / The San Diego Union-Tribune)


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