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TOP GUN Docuseries Will Follow Navy School Pilots 

Photo from Top Gun EPK

TOP GUN Docuseries Will Follow Navy School Pilots 

By Movieguide® Contributor

National Geographic and Rex have partnered on a docuseries to showcase the pilots participating in the Navy’s real-life Top Gun flight school.

The series – tentatively named TOP GUN: THE NEXT GENERATION – follows “a group of officers as they push their limits on the grueling Advanced Flight Training Program. For the first time ever, they will be embarking on some of the most challenging flight tests possible including landing on an aircraft carrier at sea. The elite nature of the course means that only a minority – the very best – will make it to the top to fly the world’s most advanced jet – the F-35C Lightning II.”

The Advanced Flight Training Program is the Navy’s real-life equivalent of the Top Gun Flight School popularized by Tom Cruise’s TOP GUN and TOP GUN: MAVERICK movies. These movies were immensely popular largely due to their uplifting, moral storylines.

“With so many millions of fans of the film around the world, I was immediately drawn to this series – these elite jet pilots are not only extremely accomplished and impressive, but all have very different stories to tell,”  EVP of Global Factual and Unscripted Content for National Geographic, Tom McDonald said. “With Nat Geo’s exclusive, unprecedented inside access, this series promises to be an exhilarating, visually jaw-dropping and fascinating journey into the intensely competitive world of elite flying.”

“The intimate access we have gained to the characters and the emotional character-led story arcs that run through the series will paint a vivid, compelling narrative around the young men and women embarking on this highly stressful process,” added showrunner Tanya Shaw. “That narrative will elevate the series beyond the noise and spectacle of fighter jets to tell the tense, nuanced and poignant human stories behind the public-facing bravado. This is a unique project and we are thrilled to be bringing it to viewers.”

The release date and streaming options have yet to be announced.

Movieguide® previously reported:

TOP GUN: MAVERICK is the blockbuster of the summer, continuing the story of the brave pilots who were introduced in in the 1986 classic, TOP GUN. But what about the real-life inspiration behind the movie?

The TOP GUN movies are based on real pilots who were part of a real training program. The U.S. military decided to create the “Top Gun” program to maintain and improve air-to-air combat skills among its servicemen and service women. 

Dan Pedersen, who started flying for the Navy in 1956, recently told the story of his time with the “Top Gun” training school in a new book called “Top Gun: An American Story.”

Pedersen was chosen to found and lead the school, and he said he believes God was his “co-pilot.”


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