AUSTIN (KXAN) — Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick” opened its first weekend high in the sky.
The sequel to the 1986 film made an estimated $124 million in its opening weekend, according to Paramount.
In the new film, Tom Cruise reprises his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. He returns to the naval flight academy to train a new class of pilots. One of them is bad-boy pilot Lt. Jake “Hangman” Seresin, played by Austin native Glen Powell.
The former University of Texas Longhorn told USA Today the role was created by Cruise with Val Kilmer’s Iceman character in mind.
“We knew we wanted to have a Texas flair, to be this Southern cocky, fun guy,” Powell said. “And we knew it had to be Iceman-adjacent.”
He took the role seriously that he learned how to fly F-18s and even got his pilot’s license.
“‘Top Gun’ made me want to be an actor,” Powell said. “If you don’t want to be a fighter pilot or an actor after watching that movie, you’re crazy.”
The 33 year old stars alongside Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly and Jon Hamm to name a few. It was set to be released in 2019. After several delays and the pandemic, the film is now in front of fans. Paramount skipped a streaming option.
Powell got his start on “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over,” which was filmed in Austin. He would go on to star in “NCIS,” “Scream Queens” and “Hidden Figures.”