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The shooting locations of Top Gun: Maverick

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36 years after the first opus, Tom Cruise puts on his pilot's suit. Accompany him in his new mission and discover the filming locations of Top Gun: Maverick

Follow in the footsteps of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell on his new mission at the Top Gun Academy.

Back to the source for “Maverick” who, 36 years later, is summoned to the Top Gun school to train a group of graduates.

Navy test base

Now a test pilot for the Navy, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) takes control of an experimental stealth plane in an attempt to reach Mach 10. Its objective? To prove to the military brass that men still have a role to play. A scene shot at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Inaugurated in 1943, this air force station gradually specialized in the design of missiles, bombs and rockets. She also played a role in the famous Manhattan Project, as part of the design of the atomic bomb. In Top Gun: Maverick, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell manages to reach Mach 10 with an experimental plane. He even manages to slightly exceed this fateful level, causing the destruction of the plane in question. In reality, the speed record was set by the NASA X-43 Scramjet, which reached Mach 9.6, or 10,240 km/h. One of the major differences with the film is that during the real test, the device was piloted remotely and not by a person.

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Aircraft carrier

As with the first Top Gun, many scenes in Top Gun: Maverick take place on an aircraft carrier. Although the two ships used by Tony Scott in Top Gun have long since been dismantled, director Joseph Kosinski was able to count on the collaboration of the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln to produce his sequences. Adopting the name of the former U.S. President but also his motto, “Shall not perish”, the USS Abraham Lincoln was dedicated on February 13, 1988. Moored at the Everett Naval Base in Washington State, she has participated in humanitarian operations off the coast of Somalia and was also involved in the maneuvers following September 11, 2001.

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North Island Naval Air Station

Recalled by his friend Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) returns to TopGun to oversee the training of young U.S. Air Force pilots for a particularly risky mission. The opportunity for Tom Cruise to return to the North Island Naval Air Station more than 30 years after the release of the first TopGun.The first Top Gun left an indelible mark on San Diego and more particularly on the North Island Naval Air Station, a vast complex belonging to the US Army, attached to the Coronado base. Almost all the pilots here grew up with Top Gun and all of them consider Maverick, the hero played by Tom Cruise, as a true role model.

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Top Gun training base

The Navy’s elite pilots are gathered to meet their new instructor, the famous Pete Mitchell, aka Maverick (Tom Cruise). The latter was to supervise his training for a high-risk mission. A scene shot at the Lemoore Naval Station. The newest U.S. Navy jet base, Lemoore is also the largest. It hosts five carrier air wings.

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Beach

Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) organizes a soccer game on the beach near the TopGun training base. This is a way for the new instructor to bond the pilots before they go on a mission. The filming of Top Gun: Maverick not only allowed Tom Cruise to return to his iconic character of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell but also to return to the places of his first exploits. It is thus on Breakers Beach, on the part reserved for the naval base of Coronado, not far from the ground where was once filmed the mythical game of volleyball of the first part, that the actor and his comrades shot the game of soccer.

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Aerial training

Already used by Tony Scott in the first film, the Naval Air Station Fallon saw the return of Tom Cruise during the shooting of Top Gun: Maverick. The opportunity to push the limits and to film even more spectacular sequences over the vast desert lands of this region of the United States. The flight scenes, including those captured over the Naval Air Station Fallon, already used for Top Gun, require a meticulous organization. Two jets equipped with external cameras and a helicopter are in charge of the overall shots. In the cockpits, the actors take place alongside seasoned pilots. Each actor has to take care of his own scenes. Tom Cruise was not allowed to fly a real F-18, but he is at the controls of the other aircraft.

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Mountain lake

Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) takes the lead in the mission to destroy weapons at an enemy base deep in the mountains. A sequence that director Joseph Kosinski filmed in the Rimrock Lake area in the mountains of Washington State. Operated as part of the Yakima Irrigation Project, this lake is controlled by the Tieton Dam, a 97-meter-high structure dating from 1925. Near the communities of Rimrock and Silver Beach, the lake sits in the middle of Yakima County. The Yakima River has its source in the Cascade Mountains. It was visited by the explorers Lewis and Clark on October 17, 1805. For Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick could only be made on two conditions: that Val Kilmer be part of the cast and that he and the other actors actually ride in jets.

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Lake Tahoe

Pete “Mitchell” Maverick’s (Tom Cruise) squadron arrives at the enemy base to destroy its weapons stockpile. The climax of a spectacular blockbuster, shot in the vicinity of Lake Tahoe, between California and Nevada. With a length of 35 km, a width of 19 km and a depth of 501 meters, Lake Tahoe was once located in the territory of the Washos, a Native American people. Discovered by John Charles Fremont in 1844, the site was officially named Lake Tahoe in 1945. Its crystal clear water, its surrounding nature, as generous as it is fascinating, and the numerous plant and animal species that can be found there make it a particularly popular tourist site in all seasons.

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Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

A devastated Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) attends the funeral of his friend Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer) at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Now alone, the pilot decides to do everything he can to impose what he thinks is the best decision to his superiors to carry out his mission. The funeral scene of Iceman (Val Kilmer) is one of the most moving scenes in Top Gun: Maverick. For the sake of realism, director Joseph Kosinski’s teams decided to shoot the scene in the real Navy cemetery at Point Loma near the city of San Diego, where the action of the feature film also takes place. A way to anchor Top Gun 2 a little more in a logic that is not only realistic but also respectful of the institutions of the Navy. From the beginning, Tom Cruise asked the producers to include Val Kilmer in the project. Diminished by a terrible disease that has deprived him of speech, so to speak, the interpreter of Iceman gladly accepts and shoots a particularly touching scene alongside Tom Cruise. Val Kilmer himself suggested the idea of including his illness in the script.

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Cult! movies: 100 mythical places of cinema [French Edition]

Since the dawn of cinema, films have invaded the world and highlighted sometimes unexpected places. Every film location has its secrets. The latter are sometimes as exciting as the feature films themselves.

Did you know that the cemetery where the final duel of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was built from scratch and that no body lies there? Or that the bus ofInto The Wild has been moved to discourage fans from spending the night there? From the story of the construction of The Bridge on the River Kwai to the incredible encounter during the shooting of the last scene ofIndiana Jones and the Last Crusadeembark on an exciting world tour with the greatest stars of the seventh art. Shiver in the real haunted house ofAmityville and discover the terrifying anecdotes of the making ofApocalypse Now in the Philippines. Visit the building of Blade Runner before stopping at Hogwarts and finally landing in Jurassic Parkin the middle of the Hawaiian archipelago. What if we also took you behind the scenes of the making of the Hobbits’ village of Lord of the Rings ?

Produced by a team of pop-culture specialists and enhanced by numerous anecdotes, Cult! movies tells the secrets of the places that made the history of cinema.

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By Gilles Rolland

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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