Joseph Kosinski on the Top Gun: Maverick football scene.

Kosinski said all of his actors felt pressure to do justice to the iconic volleyball scene from Top Gun.

"Top Gun: Maverick"

Courtesy of Paramount

Top Gun: Maverick has received overwhelming acclaim for its ability to bring new versions of moments and tropes from the original Top Gun into the 21st century. One of the best examples is a scene where Tom Cruise leads his group of pilots in a shared pick-up soccer game on the beach. The scene was an apparent homage to Kenny Loggins’ infamous volleyball scene from the original film and quickly became a fan-favorite moment.

Speaking to IndieWire on the Critics Choice Awards red carpet, Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski spoke about the experience photographing the football scene, which he described as one of his most memorable days on set.

“A very memorable day that I get asked about a lot was when we were filming the beach football scene,” Kosinski said. “The actors were in a very stressed state, they had all worked so hard to prepare for this scene. They were under pressure, the weight of the original scene was so iconic. I remember Glen was 110 percent down in the first game and got injured, but he was able to recover quickly and we were able to get a great version of that.

Kosinski has never tried to hide the pressure he felt to make a sequel to a cult film that fans had been waiting for nearly 40 years. But in an interview with IndieWire ahead of the film’s release, Kosinski expressed relief that fans of the original film were just as excited about his film as those unfamiliar with the original.

“We did a little bit of audience testing,” he said. “What surprised us was that people rated the film exactly the same whether you had seen the first film or not. There was no difference between Top Gun fans and non-Top Gun fans. I never could have foreseen this, but I think people could possibly get more out of it after seeing the first film. But people seem to enjoy it either way.”

Watch IndieWire’s red carpet interview with Kosinski below.

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Lindsay Lowe

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