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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Is Top Gun 2 set to shoot in the UAE?

Signs point to yes: the long-awaited sequel to the classic 80s air force drama could be heading to town

The Top Gun sequel is happening. Courtesy Paramount Pictures
The Top Gun sequel is happening. Courtesy Paramount Pictures

Tom Cruise could be set to shoot in the UAE for Top Gun: Maverick, the much-anticipated sequel to the 1986 classic film Top Gun.

The American star famously filmed hair-raising stunts for 2011’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol in Dubai. Cruise was spotted on Twitter enjoying a visit to the home of former Dubai Media Incorporated chief Ahmad Al Shaikh.

Cruise is now staying in Abu Dhabi, The National confirmed.

Rumours of an upcoming UAE shoot ahead of the film's projected July 2019 release are at fever pitch within the local movie industry with one well-placed source confirming that filming will take place here, although no-one was prepared to comment on the record.

The cast and crew all have ties to the UAE

Beyond Cruise, the new movie’s main cast and crew all have links to the UAE.

Top Gun: Maverick is a Jerry Bruckheimer production, as was the 2014 horror Deliver Us from Evil, which shot scenes in the Liwa desert, and in twofour54’s Studio B in Mussafah.

Chad Oman, the Deliver Us from Evil executive producer was in the UAE for the shoot and revealed on the set at the time that he was already scouting to shoot future movies in the UAE:

“There are another couple of Bruckheimer projects in the pipeline that need this kind of environment, so while I’m here I’m going out on Monday to scout possible locations for two more projects,” he said in 2013 when Top Gun 2 was in the planning stages.

Oman also revealed that his positive experience of shooting here was likely to catalyse further visits in future: “This was an opportunity to try Abu Dhabi out and see if we could potentially shoot a whole movie here. We’ve been really pleased with the crew and with twofour54 intaj as the production company," he told Digital Studio ME.

"When we need this sort of location everyone always thinks of Morocco, or maybe Jordan, but we now have another option, and with the rebate for filming in Abu Dhabi, and the fact it’s probably safer, it’s possibly a better option.”

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Oman is currently working on Ang Lee’s Will Smith starrer Gemini Man, which is shooting in Savannah, Georgia. Oman’s co-producer on that movie is Michael Fottrell, who was in Abu Dhabi in 2014 as producer of Furious 7. Gemini Man is, like Top Gun: Maverick, a Bruckheimer production.

Drone warfare will reportedly play a key role in the Top Gun sequel's plot. Some of North America's leading drone specialists are in the capital for the Race 3 shoot, which starts tomorrow – could they be set to extend their stay to work on Top Gun?

The National approached both twofour54 Abu Dhabi and Dubai Film and TV Commission, however both declined to comment at this stage.

We'll leave you with a nostalgic reminder of the original and legendary 1986 film: