Tom Cruise and crews filming in the waters off Long Beach

SOMEWHERE IN THE PACIFIC—Tom Cruise and film crews have been patrolling the ocean way off Long Beach, beyond the breakwater, in the past few days shooting action scenes from a barge for the sequel to Cruise’s 1986 mega-hit film “Top Gun.”

“Top Gun: Maverick” will feature Cruise and his “Top Gun” co-star Val Kilmer, along with “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm, Ed Harris and Jennifer Connelly. Also returning to the new film will be singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins, reprising his hit single “Danger Zone.”

Cruise will once again play the part of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Thirty-six years between movie flights is a long hiatus for a pilot, and the movie will center in large part on the increased role of drones in warfare. But, of course, when things get dangerous we’ll need a real pilot to get things done; we’re assuming that doesn’t need a spoiler alert. Production notes show that Cruise/Mitchell will be piloting an F/A-18 Super Hornet in the “Top Gun: Maverick,” rather than the original film’s F-14 Tomcat.

The film will be directed by CGI guru Joseph Kosinski and is scheduled for a June 26, 2020 release.

In other film news, Long Beach’s venerable Joe Jost’s once again put on its film face for a role in the Matt Damon/Christian Bale film “Ford vs. Ferrari” two weeks ago, shortly after shooting scenes at Alamitos Bay.

The popular tavern has been featured in several films, including “The Bodyguard,” “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Madison” and “License to Wed.”

“Ford vs. Ferrari” (it may be renamed later) is scheduled for a June 28, 2019 release.

Updated to correct Matt Damon stars in “Ford vs. Ferrari,” not Brad Pitt.


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Tim Grobaty is a columnist and opinions editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his newspaper career at the Press-Telegram in 1976 as a copy boy and moved on to feature writer, music critic, TV critic, copy editor and daily columnist. He’s the author of several books, including I’m Dyin’ Here, and he lives in Long Beach.