Top Gun: Maverick is the much-anticipated sequel to the original Top Gun from 1986. It seems unbelievable that a sequel would come 35 years later, but here we are. The 1986 Hollywood blockbuster Top Gun defied expectations as it blew past the competition with a sonic boom in its wake. The film was in release for 231 days, hitting 1531 theatres at its widest release. Released by Paramount Pictures, Top Gun racked up $176,781,728 domestically, with no official stats for its worldwide takings.  Back then, such data wasn’t readily available but judging from its cult-like status among action aficionados – it likely left most everything in its dust.

On IMDb, Top Gun scored 6.9/10 from 308,000 reviews – that’s pretty impressive by anyone’s admission. The film tells the story of the U.S. Navy’s Elite Fighter Weapons School as they compete to be the creme de la creme. Directed by Tony Scott, and starring the inimitable Tom Cruise alongside Kelly McGillis, with Val Kilmer, Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, and Tom Skerritt in tow. Top Gun made ‘Maverick’ a household name among hundreds of millions of fans around the world. The Top Gun School is actually a real thing with the U.S. Navy, and they impose fines on anyone who quotes the movie during their training.

Ray-Ban Brand in Plain Sight

The action film plays out like a fully immersive Top Gun video slot when the pilots are in the cockpit, engaging in death-defying dogfights. In true Hollywood style, there is plenty of brand-name advertising at play. Back in the 1980s, the gold standard with sunglasses worn by aviators was Ray-Ban. There are countless scenes of the ace fighter pilots, including Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Clarence Gilyard Jr, Rick Rossovich, and Tom Cruise, wearing the coveted and supercool Ray-Ban eyewear. In case you’re wondering, you will see the Ray-Ban Aviator 3513, and 3025 series of eyewear, in addition to the Ray-Ban Shooter 3138, the Ray-Ban Caravan 3136, and the Ray-Ban Outdoorsman 3030 series of pilot sunglasses.

Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses in the movie Top Gun (1986, Paramount, screen capture)

But it’s not only Ray-Ban eyewear that was splashed across the screen in the original Top Gun, its other name brands such as Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Colgate, Kawasaki, Porsche, Pepsi, Nike, Carefree Sugarless Bubblegum, Budweiser, Charles Krug Wine, and American Airlines too. Each of these iconic brands made its presence felt in key scenes in the movie. The mise-en-scene sure played out like a home-baked selection of America’s favorite brand names, albeit on the expensive side. Times have certainly changed since Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise lit up the screen on the Kawasaki motorbikes in Top Gun, but now Top Gun: Maverick is here, and it promises to ramp up the action 100-fold.

What To Expect With Top Gun: Maverick?

Film fans have been eagerly anticipating the release of the sequel, decades in the making. Indeed, the star of the show – Tom Cruise – returns as Maverick in Top Gun. If the trailer is anything to go by, and 35 million views suggest there is something there, then this one is going knock it straight out of the park. Top Gun: Maverick will do for this franchise what Barry Bonds did for baseball. Believe it or not, Val Kilmer reprises his role in the film, some 35 years later, alongside Cruise. While Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan are absent, Jennifer Connelly stars as Penny Benjamin, alongside Jean Louisa Kelly and Monica Barbaro as Phoenix.

The film is slated for a huge November 2021 May 2022 release, with a budget of $152 million, which is 10 times more than the original Top Gun at $15 million. It’s anybody’s guess what brand names will be associated with the new film, but rumour has it that the Matchbox Company, which is owned by Mattel, will be releasing their own toys with the top die-cast models and series of products…. Watch this space folks!

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