Tom Cruise Fully Committed to a July 2 Release for 'Top Gun: Maverick'

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Tom Cruise Jennifer Connelly Top Gun Maverick
Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly star in "Top Gun: Maverick." (Paramount Picture)

When Tom Cruise gets an idea into his head, you best stand back and get out of his way. According to a post at Deadline.com, the actor and producer has delayed production on his next movie and cleared his schedule for "Top Gun: Maverick" promotion duties ahead of a July 2 theatrical release.

Will theaters be open in July? Not unless the pace of COVID-19 vaccination picks up soon and, although the current administration has some promising ideas, there still aren't too many needles going into arms around the country in mid-February.

We've waited 35 years for the long-promised sequel to "Top Gun," and the completed movie's 2020 release has been bumped twice, first from its original summer date and then from a Christmas release.

While we've been waiting, Cruise announced plans to film two "Mission: Impossible" sequels back-to-back. The pandemic delayed production on those films more than once, increasing pressure on the filmmaking team to meet their deadlines.

Word has come that the team is close to completing filming on "Mission: Impossible 7" and will no longer immediately begin work on "Mission: Impossible 8" as originally planned. The now-completed MI sequel is on the calendar for a Nov. 19, 2021, theatrical release.

The MI team has been filming in Abu Dhabi since returning from its Christmas break and, after some pickup filming in London, they will break until "Top Gun: Maverick" promotion is completed.

Ideally, "Mission: Impossible 8" will begin filming in July with plans for a Nov. 4, 2022, theatrical release. That's an ambitious plan, but maybe it's no more ambitious than a July 2021 release for "Top Gun: Maverick." Here's hoping Cruise is right and we can all celebrate the July 4 weekend with dinner in a restaurant and a movie in a theater.

MI:7 Director Christopher McQuarrie celebrated the completion of filming in Abu Dhabi with an Instagram post. Check it out below.

This story was updated Feb. 25 to reflect the correct number of years since the original 1986 release of "Top Gun." Tempus fugit.

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