Top Gun is a 1986 American action drama film. The screenplay was written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr., and was inspired by the article “Top Guns” written by Ehud Yonay for California magazine.
The primary inspiration for the film was the article “Top Guns”, by Ehud Yonay, from the May 1983 issue of California magazine, which also featured aerial photography by then-Lieutenant Commander Charles “Heater” Heatley. The article detailed the fighter pilots at the Miramar Naval Air Station, located in San Diego, self-nicknamed as “Fightertown USA”. Numerous screenwriters allegedly turned down the project. Bruckheimer and Simpson went on to hire Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr., to write the first draft. The research methods, by Epps, included an attendance at several declassified Top Gun classes at Miramar and gaining experience by being flown in an F-14. The first draft failed to impress Bruckheimer and Simpson, and is considered to be very different from the final product in numerous ways.
Maverick is a hot pilot. When he encounters a pair of MiGs over the Persian Gulf, his wingman is clearly outflown and freaks. On almost no fuel, Maverick is able to talk him back down to the Carrier. When his wingman turns in his wings, Maverick is moved up in the standings and sent to the Top Gun Naval Flying School. There he fights the attitudes of the other pilots and an old story of his father’s death in combat that killed others due to his father’s error. Maverick struggles to be the best pilot, stepping on the toes of his other students and in a different way to Charlie, a civilian instructor to whom he is strongly attracted.