'The Town' Writer Peter Craig Pen 'Top Gun 2'

Perhaps it’s due to the financial success of the pro-military film “Act of Valor” or that after “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” megastar Tom Cruise has shed his years-long negative public image to become a top box office draw all over again, but something has gotten the wheels turning over at Paramount for “Top Gun 2.” News on the sequel to the 1986 hit has been few and far apart, with original helmer Tony Scott confirmed to return back in October of 2010, followed by a flurry of news about a 3D revamp of the original and word of Cruise’s desire for the sequel to stay true to the tone of the first movie. Then this past October word came that “X-Men: First Class” writing duo Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz were going to pen the script, but what interested us about that news was that it had no mention of previous writing work done by Cruise’s go-to screenwriter for hire Christopher McQuarie. And now another writer looks to be riding into the danger zone.

THR reports that “The Town” screenwriter Peter Craig has been tapped to write “Top Gun 2” for Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Skydance Productions, and Paramount. Though once again, there is no mention of involment from either the writing duo of Miller and Zack or McQuarrie. The piece mentions that this is a pretty serious hire for Paramount, meaning that they may want to get the ball rolling on this sequel for real this time. For those who don’t remember the cultural touchstone that is “Top Gun,” it followed a group of macho students competing at the world’s top airforce school, and it featured a whole slew of songs from Kenny Loggins that sound tracked for fierce shirtless volleyball matches.

We’re left to wonder what shirtless volleyball will read like flowing from the pen of the guy who wrote the gritty, if a tad bit glossy, Boston-set heist movie “The Town.” As for the writers, it’s not uncommon for a studio to send several drafts of a screenplay to the slaughter before settling on one that may even contain the remnants of past drafts. From the sounds of it Craig may be doing his own draft entirely, but those who know the story of the many iterations that were cobbled together to form past Cruise vehicle “Knight & Day,” this may all sound a bit familiar.

No word yet on when cameras will start rolling, so those who have the need for speed may just have to wait for the 3D rerelease of the original film, which could happen as soon as the end of this year.

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