After a three-year wait, Top Gun: Maverick is finally in theaters this weekend! Director Joe Kosinski is thrilled the moment is finally here, telling ABC Audio that he feels like his life was leading up to this moment — this was the film he was supposed to direct.

“I made model airplanes as a kid, radio controlled airplanes when I was in high school, I studied aerospace engineering in college,” he shares. “So I’ve always been into it, like obsessed with aviation.”

Speaking of aviation, Kosinaksi says that some of the most complex filming sequences came in the fighter jets, which he had very little control over in the moment and just had to have faith in the actors.

“So there’s no way to communicate when they’re up in the jets. So we built a six camera array,” he explains, adding that they set up everything so that the actors only “had to turn them on.” 

That wasn’t the only complicated thing about making Top Gun: Maverick, though.

“I mean everything’s hard on a movie like this, but…the script, the story is the most important. And until you crack that, everything else almost doesn’t matter,” Kosinski admits. “Everything was hard on this film. But it should be. You’re making Top Gun, so you need to reach high.”

Another thing that’s high, according to Kosinski, is the bar set by the first film, so he hopes that he succeeded in making a film that is “a reason to go back to the movies.” 

“We just wanted to make an emotional, exhilarating film that gives people a reason to go to the movie theater and makes them feel like they’re a Top Gun pilot for two hours and entertain them,” he says.

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