Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise has confirmed that a long-awaited sequel to the smash 80s action film "Top Gun" will feature prominently in his plans for next year. The follow-up project looks set to re-unite Cruise’s US Navy hotshot character Maverick with his former flying foil Iceman played by Val Kilmer.

Cruise informs Australian viewers

Cruise recently divulged to Australia’s Channel Seven that he was “going to start filming it probably in the next year.” Seeking to provide further confirmation to the rumour, he added that “it’s definitely happening” whilst affirming that his Antipodean audience were the first to hear his exciting news.

Adapting to changing times

The storyline is rumoured to focus on the now middle-aged Pete "Maverick” Mitchell’s life, as he struggles to adapt in a rapidly developing era of aerial warfare involving drone plane technology. Despite his obvious issues with the changing times, his undoubted skills are called upon once more as the action unravels.

Massive box office hit

The cult fighter pilot original proved to be a major boost to Cruise’s fledgling showbiz career, becoming a global success at the box office with takings exceeding $350m. Photogenic Cruise, ably backed by love interest Kelly McGillis and the enigmatic Kilmer appealed strongly to movie audiences in the Ronald Reagan era.

Film fans had begun to think that a sequel would never happen though after a series of false dawns since "Top Gun" burst onto the silver screen in 1986.

Potential scriptwriters have come and gone in the intervening years and when former director Tony Scott died in 2012, it appeared to be a lost cause.

Social media resurrected sequel’s likelihood

However, hope was renewed in the project’s viability early last year, as photos of Cruise alongside top producer Jerry Bruckheimer appeared on social media with a caption suggesting that "Top Gun 2" was on their minds.

Despite the major imminent issue of having no director on board, Kilmer has indicated that he at least would be interested in joining Cruise on the cast list for the follow-up.

Smash hit for Berlin

Music fans will no doubt be intrigued over the choices for the accompanying soundtrack, given that the original provided two memorable songs in the form of Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and Kenny Loggins’ hit “Danger Zone.”

Surge in Navy interest

After the original "Top Gun" success, the Navy is believed to have witnessed an increase in recruits to become fighter pilots, given that the film had been based on a former training programme at the Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego.