Top Gun Maverick Premiere to Honor Military Heroes ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

 The highly anticipated release of Top Gun: Maverick will include a tribute to local military service members with their families at a special red-carpet screening in Ridgecrest on Thursday, May 26, 2022, ahead of the wide-release of the film on Friday.

Top Gun: Maverick, Starring Tom Cruise. Courtesy: Paramount Pictures
Top Gun: Maverick, Starring Tom Cruise. Courtesy: Paramount Pictures
Charles Robert Cass among the service members honored on a "Hallway of Heroes" during the Top Gun: Maverick premiere in Ridgecrest, California ahead of the Memorial Day Weekend 2022.
Charles Robert Cass among the service members honored on a “Hallway of Heroes” during the Top Gun: Maverick premiere in Ridgecrest, California ahead of the Memorial Day Weekend 2022.

Ridgecrest Cinemas will be pulling out all the stops with a red-carpet world premiere event for the sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise. A reception ahead of the film includes a meet and greet of crew members who participated in the filming. Ticket proceeds will benefit the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert (HSUMD) Historic USO Building. 

 “We want to recognize the importance of military life in the region and honor those who have served. Memorial Day is a treasured tradition, and we don’t want to forget those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” says Kari Crutcher, Ridgecrest Regional Film Commissioner.

A “Hallway of Heroes” will be placed along the red carpet to honor military service members with roots in Southern California. The exhibit will then move to the Historic USO Building as part of its permanent collection.

This film is a meaningful project for Tom Cruise, an avid enthusiast of aviation, bringing up all the emotions of reuniting some of the original cast and crew. The film picks up 30 years after the events of the original Top Gun, with Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell working at the prestigious United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program he attended in the original film. He then must navigate the increasingly complex world of drone warfare as he mentors a new generation of Navy pilots.

“I wasn’t ready to make a sequel until we had a special story worthy of a sequel and until technology evolved so, we could delve deeper into the experience of a fighter pilot,” Cruise insisted. He designed a unique boot camp for the actors, who went through three months of training – underwater evac training, aerial aviation training to build up spatial awareness inside the aircraft, and flights in the back of the F-18 to pull Gs.

“The actors also had to learn how to run the cameras because they have to direct themselves when they’re up in the jet,” said producer Jerry Bruckheimer. “From cinematography to lighting to acting while flying, those actors had the experience of a lifetime.”

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