You may have read my recent article on Top Gun. You’ll have to forgive me for writing an article about the sequel, Top Gun Maverick. Both movies give you an inside look into aerial dog fights that will leave you feeling dizzy. Movies like these are best watched on the big screen so you can get the full effect. So where was Top Gun Maverick filmed? Pretty much the same place as Top Gun with a few slight variations. So let’s get into it.

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Where Was Top Gun Maverick Filmed?

Top Gun Maverick was primarily filmed in the San Diego area of California, with additional filming done at locations across the United States. Locations used include Naval Air Station Miramar, a decommissioned military base located just north of San Diego, as well as Naval Base Ventura County in Oxnard, California; Edwards Air Force Base and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California; and Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida. The production also made use of a variety of military aircraft for filming, such as F-18s, F-16s, and even a C-5 transport plane. In addition to these on-location shoots, the film was shot at various sound stages throughout Hollywood.

The film’s iconic fighter planes were also built from scratch by the production crew. They began with a system of computer-generated models and then constructed full-scale replicas of the aircraft, complete with electrical wiring, hydraulics, and fully functional engines. The entire fleet was put through its paces during the aerial photography portion of the film to capture intense combat scenes.

What was Top Gun Maverick All About?

Top Gun Maverick follows the story of Navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise), who is assigned to train a new generation of fighter pilots at US Navy Air Station Miramar. With tensions rising between America and Russia, Maverick must use his experience and expertise to prepare the young pilots for combat, while also confronting his own inner demons. Along the way, he meets a young pilot named Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller) and is forced to confront his past in order to give Bradley a chance at redemption.

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The film features intense dogfights between fighter jets, as well as dramatic sequences featuring the aircraft carriers and other naval vessels used by Navy personnel.

Who Was In The Cast of Top Gun Maverick?

The cast of Top Gun Maverick includes a variety of Hollywood stars and experienced military personnel. Tom Cruise returns as the iconic fighter pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, with Val Kilmer reprising his role as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky. Miles Teller plays a young pilot named Bradley Bradshaw, while other supporting roles include Monica Barbaro as a weapons specialist, Ed Harris as the commander of US Navy Air Station Miramar, and Jennifer Connelly as a civilian contractor.

The film also features appearances by real-life pilots and military personnel, including Marine Corps Lt. Col. Matt “Sparky” Powers and Marine Corps Capt. Adam “Sticks” Lazzara. In addition, the production team worked closely with the Navy to secure real aircraft and locations for filming.

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Who Directed Top Gun Maverick?

Top Gun Maverick was directed by Joseph Kosinski, who is well-known for his work on the popular science fiction films Oblivion and Tron: Legacy. He worked with a team of producers and stunt coordinators to create intense aerial sequences involving high-performance fighter jets, as well as realistic naval scenes featuring manned vessels and aircraft carriers.

Kosinski also worked with the Navy and other military personnel to film on real aircraft carriers, using their coordination and expertise to ensure that the scenes accurately portrayed what it is like for a pilot in a high-stakes aerial dogfight. With his experience in crafting breathtaking action sequences, Joseph Kosinski has created an exciting film that will captivate audiences.

Did Top Gun Maverick Receive Any Awards? 

Top Gun Maverick was the highest grossing film of 2022. It was nominated for a number of awards and received a few as well. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Sound and was nominated in a number of categories including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song, Best Film Editing, and Best Visual Effects.

As for the Golden Globe Awards, Top Gun Maverick was nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song. It was also nominated for Grammy Awards, Hollywood Critics Association Awards, and more.

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Technical Information

From a technical perspective, this movie required a lot of complicated camera work. Not to mention filming with actual military personnel. There were certainly CGI scenes here as well as plenty of stunts. Ninety percent of the flying scenes were authentic. 

The cameras used were Sony CineAlta Venice IMAX, Zeiss Master Prime, Loxia, Sigma FF High Speed, Voigtländer and Fujinon Premier Lenses(Sony), Sony CineAlta Venice Rialto IMAX, Zeiss Master Prime, Loxia, Sigma FF High Speed and Voigtländer Lenses(Sony).

Fun Facts About Top Gun Maverick

Tom Cruise didn’t want to make the sequel. His opinion was that it was “an amusement park ride” that didn’t depict the U.S. Navy.

It’s probably no secret that Tom Cruise is a seasoned pilot in his own right. For this movie, he set up a boot camp of sorts so the actors could get experience handling real jets. Only two people got through the boot camp without losing their lunch and one of them was Tom Cruise!

It was a conscious decision to exclude Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan from the film. Granted, Meg Ryan’s role was very small in the original film but Kelly McGillis’ role was an important part of the fabric of the story.

The plane used in the final scene of the movie was a World War II P-51 which was actually owned byTom Cruise!

Can You Visit the Set of Top Gun Maverick?

Some of the places you see in the movie can be visited but many were built in a studio. For instance, the Hard Deck Bar is fictional. But you can visit the I-Bar on Naval Station North Island which became the inspiration for the film. You’ll see props that were actually used in the movie.

Penny’s house where she lived with her daughter is in San Pedro, 25 miles south of Los Angeles. It’s located at 4000 Bluff Place.

The Cecil’s Cafe scenes were actually filmed at the Halfway House Cafe just outside Santa Clarita.

What is San Diego Famous For?

Since San Diego is in southern California, you can count on plenty of warm weather, awesome beaches and family attractions. It also goes without saying that there are a variety of top-rated restaurants. There’s plenty to do whether you have a family or not. One of the main attractions for families is Legoland. So if you have children, be sure to make a stop there.

Unique Places in San Diego 

If you are looking for things to do that are not common to most tourists, here’s a few things for you to check out:

  • The Secret Swings, La Jolla
  • The Spruce Street Suspension Bridge, Banker’s Hill
  • SS Monte Carlo Shipwreck, Coronado
  • Sunny Jim Cave, La Jolla
  • Ho Chi Minh Trail
  • Stein Family Farm
  • The Salt Mountains, Chula Vista

These are just a few of the off-beat places you can check out on your visit.

Things to Do in San Diego 

For anyone interested in the military or maritime, there’s plenty of options for you. Here are a few you might want to add to your itinerary:

  • San Diego Zoo
  • Balboa Park
  • USS Midway Museum
  • Seaworld

There are also plenty of parks, cruises, beaches, whale watching, sailing, and other activities to keep you entertained.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Top Gun: Maverick filmed in real jets?

Top Gun: Maverick stunts were filmed through real U.S. Navy pilots taking actors on top-of-the-line fighter jets. They were followed by aircraft mounted with special cameras that could withstand G-Force winds.

Where were the flight scenes in Top Gun filmed?

The fight scenes were filmed at Naval Air Station Lemoore in Kings and Fresno counties and at Naval Weapons Station China Lake in the Ridgecrest area.

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And That’s a Wrap!

San Diego will provide plenty of entertainment for you whether you are traveling with children or a bunch of friends. You don’t have to be a Top Gun fan to enjoy everything that San Diego has to offer. But if you have a military background, you’ll enjoy visiting the sites used in the making of the movie. 

If you do decide to visit San Diego to see the Top Gun Maverick film location, be sure to let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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