Tom Cruise, star of the first Top Gun film, is expected to appear in Top Gun 2, now in the works, and according to recent reports, he'll play the test pilot of a Lockheed Martin F-35 joint strike fighter. Cruise confirmed a few months ago that he was talking with the producer and director of the 1986 film -- Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott -- about a sequel. A Lockheed Martin official said last week at an industry event that a production crew is expected to start filming in the next month or so at the company's flight test center in Fort Worth, Texas. Officials from the film industry declined to comment on the reports.
The new film is expected to feature unmanned combat drones and the pilots who operate them. The F-35, which hasn't yet started deliveries, has been over budget and behind schedule for years, causing some buyers to back out. Latest estimates project that the airplane may not be combat-ready until 2018, and will sell for $122 million.