So you’ve seen Top Gun nearly 100 times, you had the poster in your childhood bedroom, and you slay the lyrics to “Danger Zone” in karaoke no matter how many beers you've had. The 1986 military flick is an action classic and should be mandatory viewing for all US citizens (as far as we’re concerned). Regardless, there are still a few things you might not know about the film that solidified Tom Cruise as Hollywood gold.
In honor of May 13th, “Top Gun Day” (it’s a thing), here are eight things we bet you didn't know about the making of the movie:
1. That Tom Cruise/Kelly McGillis sex scene nearly didn’t happen.
There was no sex scene in the original cut. It was only after test audiences were left feeling dry that executives called for it to be shot after the fact then edited into the film. We’re grateful for that test audience because the scene certainly took our breath away.
2. Kelly McGillis was too tall for Cruise.
Everyone knows Tom Cruise is a smaller guy, but not many realize just how much so. McGillis, who stands at 5’10", dwarves Cruise by three inches. She was reportedly required to go through much of the filming barefoot out of fears she’d make Cruise look like a shrimp.
3. That volleyball scene was added on a lark.
Top Gun is undeniably geared towards male audiences, but the studio thought it best to add that iconic volleyball sequence as a nod to female viewers. Hey, at least it gave Val Kilmer the chance to show off his rock-hard body while he still could.
4. Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer couldn’t stand one another.
These ‘80s megastars played rivals in the film. As rumor has it, the two actors feuded behind the cameras as well and didn’t speak much during filming.
5. “Danger Zone” wasn’t the first choice of theme song.
That campy Kenny Loggins rock ballad is one of the most memorable components of the film and is a staple of any good classic 80s hits playlist. It was only made the theme song due to concern that the original theme song, “Only the Strong Survive” by Bryan Adams, glorified warfare.
6. There was supposed to be sequel.
A sequel also trailing Maverick had been written, but it was ultimately shuttered after the studio thought the project would be too expensive (lame). We think it would have been worth the price.
7. But we are getting a sequel, after all.
In 2015, a sequel was officially announced that will focus on drone technology (read: topical). Val Kilmer even hinted that he's coming back on his Facebook page, although the details remain murky. We hope it's coming quick, because we've got a need for speed.
8. Even our government loves it.
Top Gun was selected by the United States Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2015. Damn straight.