Chris Lebenzon, the editor of ‘Top Gun’, is returning to work on ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. The veteran is coming back after 34 years to work on the sequel to the 1980s classic. It is a closing of the circle moment for Lebenzon. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news. Notably, the 1986 movie won Lebenzon his first Academy Award nomination for cutting the film. It was noted for having introduced “MTV-style editing” to movies.
The new movie, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’, is being helmed by Joseph Kosinski with Tom Cruise is reprising his role as Lt. Pete Mitchell, callsign Maverick, the hotshot pilot we grew to love in the first film. Jerry Bruckheimer is returning as the producer.
Cruise appeared at the Comic-Con in July, introducing the trailer which generated a lot of buzz since the film is an integral part of pop culture. The trailer starts off with all of Maverick’s accomplishments, catching us up to speed. Then we see Ed Harris’ character wonder why Maverick, who should be a two-star admiral at least, is still a captain. According to the pilot, it is one of life’s great mysteries. The rest of the trailer pokes our nostalgia with the familiar theme music as Maverick dons his trademark jacket, glasses and rides the old bike. There are plenty of scenes up in the air to promise a lot of dogfighting when ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ releases. As Lt. Mitchell says, heroes like him might be headed towards an inevitable extinction, but not on as long as someone like Maverick is around.
When ‘Top Gun’ came out, it earned Academy Award nominations for sound and sound effects editing as well, even winning an Oscar for the best original song, that is, Berlin’s ‘Take My Breath Away’.
Coming back to Lebenzon, he won a second Oscar nomination for working on ‘Crimson Tide’, the 1995 thriller, starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington. Much like ‘Top Gun’, ‘Crimson Tide’ also has Tony Scott as the director and Bruckheimer as the producer. Lebenzon has been editing Tim Burton’s movies for the past 25 years, including works like ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ and ‘Big Fish’. He recently edited ‘Dumbo’. As for Bruckheimer, his producing credits include ‘Days of Thunder’, which stars Tom Cruise and has been helmed by Tony Scott. Bruckheimer has also produced ‘Armageddon’ and Scott’s ‘Enemy of the State’.
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is slated to hit theaters on June 26, 2020.