'Top Gun: Maverick' Writer Reveals Secret Detail Fans Couldn't Have Known About

Top Gun: Maverick writer and producer Christopher McQuarrie shared a really cool secret detail about the Tom Cruise blockbuster that fans would never have known about. The Mission: Impossible – Fallout filmmaker revealed there was another tribute to the late Tony Scott, who directed the original 1986 Top Gun. Scott died in August 2012 at age 68.

Over the weekend, a Top Gun fan asked McQuarrie about one of Cruise's co-stars, the dog Theo. "I really want to know, is it Tom Cruise's dog? If not whose dog is it?" the fan asked. McQuarrie, who often interacts with fans on Twitter, shared an awesome response.

"The dog was Tony Scott's favorite breed and a loving nod to him," McQuarrie explained. "I named him Theo after my German Shepherd who was, as anyone's dog is, the greatest dog who ever lived."

Top Gun: Maverick ends with another tribute to Scott, as the film is dedicated to his memory. Scott took his own life on Aug. 19, 2012, in Los Angeles and reportedly spent his last days meeting with Cruise about making a sequel to Top Gun. The project was in the works for years, but Paramount pulled the plug a few months after Scott's death. However, after Top Gun was successfully released to IMAX screens in 2013, the studio and producer Jerry Bruckheimer resumed work on Top Gun 2. Joseph Kosinski, who worked with Cruise on Oblivion, was hired to direct.

Although it took nearly a decade for Top Gun: Maverick to finally reach the screen, that hard work paid off. The movie earned stellar reviews and grossed over $1.4 billion, making it the highest-grossing movie of Cruise's career. Incredibly, the movie topped the Memorial Day box office, then returned to the top on Labor Day weekend, during its 15th weekend in release. Maverick is now available on home video and will be streaming on Paramount+ on Dec. 22, just in time for Christmas.


McQuarrie is one of Cruise's closest collaborators. He worked with Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer on the Maverick screenplay and is a co-producer with Bruckheimer, Cruise, and David Ellison. Peter Craig and Justin Marks also have a story credit on the film.

McQuarrie also directed Cruise in Jack Reacher (2012), Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015), Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), and the upcoming Dead Reckoning Part One (2023) and Dead Reckoning Part Two (2024). The filmmaker also worked on Valkyrie (2008), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016), and The Mummy (2017). McQuarrie won an Oscar for writing The Usual Suspects (1995).