The Navy Confiscated a Camera During 'Top Gun: Maverick' Filming

Top Gun Maverick Danny Ramirez Glen Powell Monica Barbaro Joseph Kosinski Lewis Pullman
Danny Ramirez ("Fanboy"), Glen Powell ("Hangman"), Monica Barbaro ("Phoenix"), director Joseph Kosinski and Lewis Pullman ("Bob") on the set of "Top Gun: Maverick." (Paramount Pictures)

Now that the box-office cash has been counted and the movie has landed on home video and streaming, we're starting to hear a few stories about the behind-the-scenes drama during the making of "Top Gun: Maverick" way back in 2018.

Director Joseph Kosinski is making the rounds with Hollywood media as the movie garners attention during awards season. After a year of extremely disciplined, on-message communications about the movie, things are getting a bit looser and everyone's telling some interesting stories.

Kosinki told Deadline about his experiences with the Navy and his love of flying. "I had a huge love of aviation growing up," he said. "I was building model airplanes, really complex radio-controlled airplanes and flying them around. The first thing I did after getting this job was, I flew out to the Teddy Roosevelt aircraft carrier. I jumped on a Greyhound, which is not the fast jet, but I did get to fly out there and catch the cable, and then I got the catapult launch off the jet."

After hanging around the Navy for a couple of years, the director has even started using military lingo. “When you're directing the film, you kind of get to become a 'subject matter expert,' which is the Navy term -- the SME -- on any subject you want. So, I got to live that dream of being in the Navy for a couple years. I got to go to places that civilians don't get to go to. I got to see things that no civilian would get to see."

That's where Kosinski got into a bit of trouble. He was carrying a camera when he saw some things that no civilian is supposed to see.

"I had my camera confiscated at one point. Wiped clean," he said. "I took some pictures and maybe captured something I wasn't supposed to capture, and my camera was quickly returned to me without any photos on it."

The Navy must have forgiven his mistake, because it collaborated with the filmmakers on creating fictional versions of some of its most secret technology. "I got to go to China Lake and shoot in a hangar that is top secret. And it was all in this quest for authenticity. And I think you feel it when you see it, because you don't feel like you're in a Hollywood-designed setting. There's a reality to it. We collaborated with the actual engineers who make the real secret aircraft. It was just a dream come true."

The next big event for the "TGM" crew is the announcement of Oscar nominations on Jan. 24, 2023. The movie is considered a lock for a Best Picture nod and for nominations in most of the high-profile technical categories. Tom Cruise may have a shot at a third Best Actor nomination (and fourth overall), and Peter Craig, Justin Marks, Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie could get a nod for Best Adapted Screenplay. Kosinski is considered a long shot for a Best Director nomination.

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