Bruckheimer revisits 'Top Gun' for 3-D IMAX release
05:00 AM, Jan 24, 2013
Jerry Bruckheimer still feels the need for speed.
Top Gun, which helped make a star out of Tom Cruise and Hollywood heavyweights out of Bruckheimer and producing partner Don Simpson, is back in cinemas and flying high in 3-D for a special six-day engagement in IMAX theaters beginning Feb. 8. A limited-edition mini-reprint of the original 1986 poster will also be given out to ticketholders.
In addition, a new Top Gun 3-D Blu-ray will be released Feb. 19 with the new conversion, plus a six-part documentary, interviews with Cruise, music videos (including Kenny Loggins’ anthemic Danger Zone) and a commentary by Bruckheimer and the late director Tony Scott.
One of Scott’s last projects before his suicide in August was working with Bruckheimer’s production company to add a new dimension to the in-air action sequences with Cruise’s hotshot Maverick, Val Kilmer’s cocky Iceman and other pilots that thrilled movie audiences in 1986.
“Some of the action scenes were of course a little more difficult but they did a brilliant job,” Bruckheimer says of the 3-D conversion. “It really is exciting when they land on those carriers, and the dogfights. You really think Tony shot it in 3-D. Tony was thrilled, and he was a perfectionist.”
So much so, in fact, that Bruckheimer remembers the time Scott had a difference of opinion with the captain of an aircraft carrier while filming a training exercise: “Tony didn’t like the direction of the carrier because it wasn’t backlit, so he went to the captain and he said, ‘Can you turn the carrier?’ He’s like, ‘I’m not going to do that. It’s going to cost us $15,000 or $20,000 of fuel to do that.’ Tony took out his checkbook and wrote a check.”
While he usually doesn’t watch his movies again after they’re released, Bruckheimer thought it was great to see Cruise again in his early years (the actor was 23 when the film was released) playing a quick-tempered flyboy who goes from potential washout to ace student of his flight school and still finds time to romance Kelly McGillis and croon You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ in a bar.
“It was just wonderful to see the young kid who became this major movie star. I’m sure Top Gun helped,” Bruckheimer says.
The movie also cemented Bruckheimer and Simpson as Hollywood hitmakers. They had produced Flashdance and Beverly Hills Cop, but then rolled off a string of big, boisterous action films such as Days of Thunder,Bad Boys,Crimson Tide and The Rock, their final film before Simpson’s death in 1996.
The success of Top Gun, which was made for $14 million and finished as the top-grossing movie of 1986 with a take of more than $176 million, validated that “we could make movies that people wanted to go see, which was nice,” says Bruckheimer, whose next movie is The Lone Ranger (due July 3).
Watching Top Gun now is “very nostalgic,” he adds. “It brings back a lot of great memories and a lot of good times that we had. You remember the struggles, and (then) you remember all the fun that was involved and you forget some of the struggles.”
The producer says he has been trying to get a sequel going ever since its release, and recently before his death, Scott was involved with Bruckheimer, Cruise and Paramount in developing the next Top Gun. “Hopefully we can pull something together but you never know.”
It was “absolutely bittersweet” for Bruckheimer to take in a 3-D IMAX Top Gun without Simpson there to watch it with him. “Besides being my partner, he was a very close friend,” he says. “It makes it even more difficult now that we lost Tony.”