maverick wake up

Top Gun: Maverick Isn’t Not a Death Dream, Director Joseph Kosinski Says

To Mach 10 and beyond. Photo: Paramount Pictures

Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski loves a good fan theory. The record-breaking film, which has now passed Avengers: Infinity War to become the sixth-highest-grossing domestic film of all time, inspired a hypothesis about the film’s opening sequence — a hypothesis that made its way to headlines throughout its early summer box-office domination. The movie, now on digital release, begins with the death of Tom Cruise’s Maverick, or so people theorize, making the events that transpire in the rest of the film a death dream. If you ascribe to this theory, as some of our colleagues at Vulture do, Cruise doesn’t emerge from that first crash at Mach 10 speed, leaving him shaken and covered in dust. It makes him a character who refuses to die, even in death, and dreams of one final job.

This theory seems to please Kosinski, a director who believes “movies are meant to be interpreted in a variety of ways.” He told The Hollywood Reporter that Maverick’s “rite of passage” in the movie lends itself to the death-dream idea. “I love hearing that theory, and, 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,” he said. “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.” So Maverick could very well be dead. Long live Maverick!

Top Gun: Maverick Isn’t Not a Death Dream, Director Says