Some fans, and several critics, have posited a theory that everything that happens after Maverick’s crash while pushing Mach 10 at the start of the Top Gun sequel is a death dream. “It’s fun to imagine the film is a death dream, a…fantasy taking place in the instant before Maverick blinks out of existence,” wrote Alison Willmore in Vulture.
It’s a good theory, because after all, the movie is extremely vague about how Tom Cruise’s Maverick survives the mid-air disintegration of the aircraft. Him staggering into a diner – shell-shocked and covered in desert dust – and a kid thinking he’s just landed from outer space is one of the highlights of the action movie.
Now, director Joseph Kosinski has weighed in on the theory, as Top Gun: Maverick continues to break box office records, almost three months after its release. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Kosinski said; “Movies are meant to be interpreted in a variety of ways, and I love it when people read different meanings into it. So I love hearing that theory.”
“Certainly, there’s a mythic kind of element to the story that I think lends itself to that sort of interpretation, based on who Maverick is and what he represents and the fact that he’s kind of going through this rite of passage at a different phase of his life.”
“So I like that theory. Movies are things that are meant to be interpreted in your own way and based on how you see the world and the experiences that you’ve had. So I will not throw cold water on that. It’s a really cool interpretation of the story.”
Top Gun: Maverick has now sailed past $1.4 billion worldwide, and has also exceeded $683 million in the US alone. The most amazing part is the extraordinary legs on this thing – it has been thirteen weeks since its release, and is still out-performing many of its competitors each weekend. Movies usually see a significant drop in takings after their opening weekend, but Maverick’s ‘hold’ has been sensational.
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