Tom Cruise is back as Maverick in the "Top Gun" sequel and has just posted a photo on Instagram to mark the historic first day on set. Last year, in June, Cruise announced to the world that the title of the film would be, "Top Gun: Maverick," and the IMDb page for the movie seems to confirm this to be true. The release date on that page claims to be July 12, 2019, but that could change for a variety of production reasons. The production company behind the film, Skydance, also posted to social media to mark the historic moment.

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Cruise still feels the need after all these years

Text on the Instagram photo stated simply, "Feel the need," referring back to the original "Top Gun" conversation between characters Maverick and Goose where the flight crew relay to each other in unison their, "Need for speed," as they head out to fly their Grumman F-14 Tomcat fighter jet.

Cruise, In the original 1986 film, starred along with Anthony Edwards as his best friend and co-pilot Goose, Val Kilmer as Iceman, Maverick's flight school nemesis, Tom Skerritt as Viper, the older and wiser flight instructor, and Kelly McGillis, the love interest to Cruise. The chemistry of the original film will be hard to replicate because so much has changed in the world since that release. Cruise is now 32 years older and the world has been involved in a global war on terror since 2001 when the World Trade Center towers were destroyed in an act of terrorism. Cruise labeled the photo simply with the hashtag #Day1 below the image.

No one could ever replace Cruise as Maverick

At the risk of claiming that the original "Top Gun" movie was more or less a glorified recruitment tool for the Navy and Marine Corps aircrews, it was Cruise's acting, believable love story and tear-jerking loss of his best friend that humanized the story in ways that entrenched the film into popular culture.

Replacing Cruise would have jeopardized the franchise and risked making the sequel merely a hollow effort that shared only a title with the original film. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer returns to his role in "Top Gun: Maverick" as well as IMDb listing David Ellison also as a producer for the film. The writing staff for the film is listed as consisting currently of Peter Craig, Justin Marks and Eric Warren Singer. The director of the movie is said to be Joseph Kosinski, who was also the director of "Tron: Legacy." It's said that the plot for the sequel will revolve around another competition, and maybe it will provide the opportunity for Maverick to come out a winner this time.