Tom Cruise thought Top Gun: Maverick would never be made as he and producer Jerry Bruckheimer couldn't think of a worthwhile story.
The 57-year-old made his debut as Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in the 1986 original, and is reprising his role alongside Val Kilmer for the upcoming sequel, which also stars newcomers Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, and Jon Hamm.
In an interview with Empire magazine, Cruise revealed that even though people were telling him to make a follow-up to the hugely successful '80s blockbuster, he didn't know where to start.
"Everywhere I went, people would be like, 'Do Top Gun', and I'm like, 'Guys, I don't know how to do it'," said Cruise. "I don't know what the story is. I don't make movies just to make movies. I was like, 'Jerry, it's never going to happen'. I honestly never thought I would make it."
And the Mission: Impossible star, who is well-known for performing his own death-defying stunts on the big screen, was adamant that he was only going to do a sequel if there were no computer-generated effects.
"We just started talking. And I realised that there were things that we could accomplish cinematically. And I started getting excited about this big challenge of, 'How do we do it?' So I said to Jerry, 'I'll do it if…' meaning, I'm not going to do the CGI stuff," he explained.
And it was Cruise's idea to have his co-stars, including Teller and Hamm, be able to withstand the force of being in a real supersonic fighter aircraft, something that was missing from the 1986 original.
"I said to the studio, 'You don’t know how hard this movie's going to be. No-one's ever done this before.' There's never been an aerial sequence shot this way. I don't know if there ever will be again, to be honest," he shared.
Top Gun: Maverick will be in cinemas from 24 June.