“Top Gun: Maverick” was never going to be an easy sell.
Sure, the film starred Tom Cruise — arguably one of Hollywood’s most iconic movie stars — and it would be the sequel to “Top Gun,” one of the biggest blockbusters of all time. But the original “Top Gun” was in theaters when Ronald Reagan was president, leg warmers were still in style, and the New York Mets last won the World Series.
The challenge for Paramount — the studio that released the film — and its CEO Bob Bakish was how to roll out a sequel to the 1986 Cold War classic for a world that had seemingly left Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and his “need for speed” behind.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the movie was scheduled to be released in the summer of 2020 when the world was in the midst of pandemic that was shutting down entire industries and throwing millions…