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“Top Gun. Maverick has been overwhelmingly praised for its ability to bring fresh versions of moments and tropes from the original Top Gun into the 21st century. One of the best examples is a scene where Tom Cruise leads his group of pilots in a co-op game of pickup soccer on the beach. The scene was an obvious homage to Kenny Loggins’ infamous volleyball shot scene in the original film, and quickly became a fan favorite moment.

Speaking to IndieWire on the red carpet at the Critics Choice Awards, “Top Gun. “Maverick” director Joseph Kosinski reflected on the experience of filming the football scene, which he called one of his most memorable days on set.

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“One that I get asked a lot about, which was a very memorable day, was when we shot the beach soccer scene,” Kosinski said. “The actors were very tense, they were all working so hard to prepare for that scene. They were under pressure and the gravity of the opening scene was so iconic. I remember Glenn went 110 percent in the first game and hurt himself, but he was able to recover quickly and we were able to get a great version of that.”

Kosinski never tried to hide the pressure he felt to direct the sequel to the iconic film that fans have been waiting almost 40 years for. But in an interview with IndieWire ahead of the film’s release, Kosinski expressed relief at the fact that fans of the original film were just as excited about his film as those who weren’t familiar with the original.

“We did a little audience testing,” he said. “It was unexpected for us, whether you had seen the first film or not, people gave the same assessment to the film. There was no difference between Top Gun and Top Gun fans. I never would have expected it, but I think people might get more out of it if they saw the first movie. But people seem to enjoy it.”

Watch IndieWire’s red carpet interview with Kosinski below.

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