Edgar Wright made a surprising contribution to Top Gun: Maverick in the form of a memorable needle drop. With a screenplay by Mission Impossible‘s Christopher McQuarrie and directed by Forgetfulness‘s Joseph Kosinski, de Top Gun sequel released in theaters last Memorial Day and has proven time and again to be a box office phenomenon, still playing in theaters and making money after four months. In the legendary sequel, Tom Cruise’s Maverick returns to the Top Gun program thirty years after graduation to train a new generation of young fighter pilots for a dangerous mission.
Wright, on the other hand, has never made such a big blockbuster as… Top Gun: Maverick. Instead, the English filmmaker gained fame for satirical genre films such as the zombie comedy Shaun of the Deadthe first part in his Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy, which also includes the comedy buddy cop Busy hassle and the sci-fi comedy The end of the world. Wright’s highest-grossing film to date is action-packed baby driver, and his most recent film was the psychedelic Last night in Soho. However, it seems that the filmmaker also had his fingerprints on last summer’s biggest blockbuster.
During a recent interview with The Hollywood ReporterWright reveals his involvement with Top Gun: Maverick. In need of a song for the first act’s bar sequence, one of the film’s writers, McQuarrie, contacted Wright to see if he had any suggestions. The director of the Cornetto Trilogy checked his already curated playlist, “Maverick Bar”, and came back to the screenwriter with his recommendation: Foghat’s “Slow Ride”, which can be heard during the scene in question. Read Wright recounting the sequence of events below:
In terms of Foghat, they needed a song. My dream lyric to get was Chris McQuarrie saying, “Hey, we need a new song for the bar scene in Top Gun: Maverick. How can you think that’s…?” And it was like, “Oh, give me 45 minutes!” I think I still have that playlist on Spotify, it was “Maverick Bar.” So that stuff is just fun for me.
Top Gun: Maverick Continues Edgar Wright’s Tradition of Excellent Needle Drops
Throughout his film career, Wright has demonstrated an incredible skill in choosing memorable needle drops. This talent came into its own on baby driver, while Ansel Elgort’s protagonist manages the film’s soundtrack in real time as the story unfolds. Music also plays an important role in Scott pilgrim against the world, while Micheal Cera’s slack musician tries to win a battle of the bands competition, with the film featuring many songs from real Toronto bands. Another memorable needle drop from Wright’s filmography is Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” in Shaun of the Dead, which is set during the climax of the fight scene which also happens to be set in a bar.
Now, surprisingly, Top Gun: Maverick continues Wright’s trend of excellent soundtrack curation. Despite its huge popularity, Foghat’s “Slow Ride” doesn’t have the best reputation, due to its overtly suggestive subtext. But, as Wright knows, a great needle is all about picking the right song for a particular time and place, and using it as an opportunity to reveal something about the characters. In front of Top Gun: Maverick“Slow Ride” was the perfect song for a bar full of sea cohorts – when it comes down to it, Glen Powell’s Hangman even notes: “I love this song.“
Next: Every song in Top Gun: Maverick