Tom Cruise on Thursday shared an Instagram photo of a F/A-18E Super Hornet with three words: “Feel The Need.” Next to the Navy fighter, staring wistfully at it, was Cruise himself dressed in a flight suit. The Twitter caption was “Day 1,” confirmation that filming for the highly anticipated sequel to Top Gun has begun.

For those who have been under a rock since 1986, Top Gun was the story of a naval aviator who overcomes career adversity to defend the fleet from an unnamed communist foe. The film, directed by Tony Scott, became an instant hit, making $500 million worldwide during its run, and cemented Cruise’s credentials as an action star.

Top Gun 2 has been in production hell for over two decades, as various screenwriters and studios have angled unsuccessfully to reprise the box office-smashing film. The rumored plot is updated to include the latest in Naval technology: 5th generation fighters and unmanned aerial vehicles. Since only two other nations have 5th gen fighters, this narrows the potential bad guys in the film to Russia, which fields the Su-57, or China, which operates the stealthy J-21 Black Eagle.

Hopping on the Top Gun hype, the U.S. Air Force’s official Twitter account retweeted Cruise’s photo with a caption that inferred the high-speed F-15E Strike Eagle was a smarter choice than the Navy’s Super Hornet, which replaced the much faster, venerable F-14 Tomcats from the original film:

But from a showbiz standpoint, perhaps the Air Force is still salty about the movie Iron Eagle getting blown out of the water by Maverick and company.

Details on the upcoming film are scarce. However, the director, Joseph Kosinski, has worked with Cruise before on the mind-warping sci-fi flick “Oblivion,” a spectacle set on a future dystopian earth. Unfortunately, it may still be a while before we can all satisfy that need for speed: Top Gun 2: Maverick is set to fly into theaters in July of 2019.

Dept. Of Defense

Fighter Aircraft photo

SOUTH CHINA SEA (Feb. 27, 2018) An F/A-18C Super Hornet assigned to the “Kestrels” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137 takes off from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Elton Charles Wheeler/Released)


Fighter Aircraft photo

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