Tony Scott's death has dashed the hopes for Top Gun's sequel and may threaten the planned 3D re-release.
I was never much of a Top Gun fan, but it's hard to deny the movie's impact. It was the highest grossing film of 1986, earning over $350 million worldwide, and it also cemented the careers of Tom Cruise and director Tony Scott in one fell swoop. Paramount Pictures naturally had high hopes for an equally popular sequel, which Scott even agreed to direct. Of course, this was before Scott's tragic and unexpected suicide. Today, all progress on Top Gun's sequel appears to have halted, while Paramount is faced with a difficult decision regarding a finished Top Gun 3D conversion. Handled correctly, it could be a testament to Scott's legacy. Handled poorly, it could come off as nothing more than a poorly timed cash-in on the director's career.
According to the New York Times, Scott and Cruise were the process of scouting locations for Top Gun 2 mere days before his death. The article also states that the movie has "fallen apart" in the wake of Scott's passing, while Paramount has yet to finalize its plan for Top Gun 3D.
The 3D version, crafted by Legend3D with Scott's full support, was created in the wake of popular conversions like Titanic 3D and Raiders of the Lost Ark for IMAX. Paramount was rumored to be considering a February release, with possible earlier releases in Russia and China. Now, between the timing of Scott's passing and a lack of approval from Chinese censors, releasing the movie in any capacity may become a far greater gamble than Paramount had expected a year ago.
Whatever your thoughts on Top Gun itself, if a sequel were produced it's hard to imagine anyone other than Tony Scott making it work. As for the 3D conversion, I expect that Paramount will eventually release it to the world after an appropriate delay to respect to Scott and his family. And that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Take a look at the original Top Gun trailer; even today, that's a pretty exciting take on what ultimately amounts to Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer going to flight school and playing lots of volleyball.
Source: New York Times