Tom Cruise's 'Top Gun: Maverick' jet rides (on F/A-18) paid US Navy this much

Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick: A variation of the F/A-18 is being considered for use by India on aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.
US actor Tom Cruise poses upon arrival for the UK premiere of the film "Top Gun: Maverick" in London, on May 19, 2022. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)(AFP)
US actor Tom Cruise poses upon arrival for the UK premiere of the film "Top Gun: Maverick" in London, on May 19, 2022. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)(AFP)
Updated on May 26, 2022 05:22 PM IST
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Tom Cruise and his 'Top Gun: Maverick' co-stars cost Paramount Pictures a tidy sum of money in filming for the new movie, Bloomberg said Thursday, explaining the US Navy was paid $11,374 per hour for the actors to 'train' in advanced F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets. Cruise, the star of the 'Mission Impossible' series and famous for performing his own stunts, had insisted actors playing pilots had to experience the strain of immense gravitational forces. Cruise, 59, had also flown in a jet for the original 'Top Gun', a smash hit in 1986.

Paramount Pictures said Cruise created his own program - one that put younger actors through the 'nausea-inducing rigors of aerial manoeuvres'.

The plane chosen for the movie and the experience was the Super Hornet - variations of which were flown to India this month to showcase their operational capability.

READ: Indian Navy to test US F/A-18E fighters for INS Vikrant next week

The jet is being considered by the Indian Navy for a squadron of 26 to be stationed on board the soon-to-be-commissioned INS Vikrant, India's indigenously-built aircraft carrier.

READ: US F/A-18E fighter jet in India to showcase operational capability, spotted over Goa sky

Back to Tom Cruise, though, with Bloomberg also reporting that neither Cruise nor his co-stars actually flew the planes. 

A senior Pentagon official said regulations bar non-military personnel from controlling a military asset, other than small arms in training scenarios.

Instead, the actors rode behind F/A-18 pilots after completing required training on how to eject from the plane in an emergency and how to survive at sea.

The Pentagon official also noted that real fighter jet pilots weren't like those portrayed in the film; such people 'would never exist in naval aviation', he said.

He also, though, admitted a movie 'does not have to be a love letter to the military' so long as it upholds 'the integrity of the military'.

'Top Gun: Maverick': releases this week; it was shot in 2018 but delayed due to the pandemic.

With input from Bloomberg

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