No one knows the Hollywood franchise game better than Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer behind Pirates of the Caribbean, National Treasure, Beverly Hills Cop, and the upcoming Lone Ranger. During his more than 35 years of making movies, most of his giant blockbusters have yielded big-budget sequels — except the one that moviegoers are perhaps the hungriest to revisit: Top Gun. After years of planning to send Tom Cruise’s rebel flyboy back into the sky were interrupted by the tragic death of director Tony Scott, who helmed the 1986 original, Bruckheimer says Top Gun 2 is still a Go.
“We still want to do it with Tom, and Paramount are still interested in making it,” Bruckheimer told an audience at Sunday’s Produced By conference. “What Tom tells me is that no matter where he goes in the world, people refer to him as Maverick. It’s something he is excited about, so as long as he keeps his enthusiasm hopefully we’ll get it made.”
If Top Gun 2 seems like an inevitability, Bruckheimer sounds more prudent about the Lone Ranger, the expensive Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer western that rides into theaters July 3. Clearly, it’s designed as a franchise — but then again, so was The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. “Hopefully The Lone Ranger will continue as a sequel,” Bruckheimer said. “It’s always up to the audience. If the audience likes the movie, then Disney will come to me and we’ll make another, or it will be a one-off.”