The unexpected and tragic death of Tony Scott earlier this year was bound to have an impact on the various films the director had in development, and now we know for certain the fate of one of the most talked about projects: Top Gun 2 has apparently "fallen apart" according to The New York Times. The sequel was announced in October 2011 with X-Men: First Class writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz writing the screenplay, and according to this latest report, Scott was scouting locations with Tom Cruise just days before his suicide on August 19, 2012.
Although Top Gun 2 has stalled, Paramount still has one last Tony Scott picture to release: the original Top Gun, in 3D. Scott oversaw the 3D conversion himself before his passing, but the studio is reportedly mulling over the right time to re-release the 1986 blockbuster, which starred Tom Cruise as a rebellious pilot and shot the actor to Hollywood stardom, so as to honor Scott's legacy without appearing to merely capitalize on the aftermath of his untimely passing. The project is apparently completed, and could have screened in China this year, but the country limits the number of foreign movies released every year, and did not make room for Top Gun 3D in 2012. The film's release date overseas and in America remains unknown, but Paramount is reportedly considering February 2013 for the blockbuster's return to theaters, beginning with a one-week IMAX engagement before expanding to more screens.
A re-release of Tony Scott's most popular film seems like a fitting tribute to the late director, and waiting a few extra months out of respect for his passing seems appropriate to us. While a 3D conversion seems unnecessarily distracting from an already effective melodrama, the fact that Scott himself was actively involved mitigates the usual frustrations that come with the post-conversion process. It will be nice to see Top Gun in theaters again, even if it means that damned Righteous Brothers song is going to get stuck in our heads for another 25 years.
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