Arts & Entertainment

Kosinski: The architect-turned-director behind ‘Top Gun’ sequel

By Javier Romualdo

Los Angeles, May 25 (EFE).- A professionally trained architect with a passion for cinema, Joseph Kosinski is the guiding hand behind the return of the Top Gun franchise to the big screen after a 36-year wait.

Despite having only four films to his name, Kosinski was chosen by Paramount Pictures to direct the long-awaited follow-up to “Top Gun,” the 1986 high-flying, adrenaline-filled action-drama film that helped catapult Tom Cruise to super-stardom.

Huge expectations now surround the sequel, a film that was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic but now arrives in the United States on Friday with solid momentum after a highly successful world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

Now, more than a decade after the project received final approval, it is poised to become one of the top-grossing films of the year and possibly even garner attention during award season.

Kosinski, an alumnus of the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation who now is an assistant professor at that institution, said his background in architecture has been a plus for him in his film career.

“I mean, I think the blueprint is definitely related to the script. You start with this document that is the plan. Both architecture and film-making cannot be done by one person,” the filmmaker said in an interview with Efe in Los Angeles prior to this weekend’s widespread US release of “Top Gun: Maverick.”

“As the director, you need to enlist the help of hundreds, if not thousands, of people to help you make it. Just as the architect can’t make the building by himself. You need to provide a vision. You need to keep the whole team moving in the same direction. It requires a lot of patience, but I do feel there are a lot of parallels between the two pursuits.”

A specialist in computer graphics and computer-generated imagery, Kosinski landed a marquee project right off the bat in Hollywood with the highly successful 2010 picture “Tron: Legacy,” a sequel to the 1980s cult classic “Tron.”

He also has directed three other films in recent years – the 2013 post-apocalyptic action-adventure picture “Oblivion,” based on his original graphic novel; the short movie “The Dig”; and the biographical drama “Only the Brave.”

With “Top Gun: Maverick,” Kosinski decided that, despite the original film’s iconic status and his own admiration for director Tony Scott’s style, he needed to look toward the future with the sequel and not hearken back to the past.

Thus far, that appears to have been a wise move.

So much praise was showered on the sequel at Cannes and CinemaCon – a US gathering of movie theater owners – that it even overshadows what was received by the original.

Kosinski said much of the positive response thus far can be attributed to Cruise’s acting performance and the emotion he brings to his role.

“You’re going to see a side of Tom Cruise you haven’t seen in a big movie in a while,” the filmmaker said.

In the new film, Maverick (Cruise), who has purposely spent more than three decades dodging advancements in rank that would have kept him out of the skies, returns to the US Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, this time as an instructor.

His task is to train a new squadron of fighter pilots for a complex mission to destroy a dangerous nuclear installation.

“The first film was a rite-of-passage story of a boy becoming a man, and this is a man now in his 50s at a different stage of his life,” Kosinski said. EFE


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