China Thought A Top Gun: Maverick Prop Was A Real Government Weapon

By Michileen Martin | 2 weeks ago

top gun maverick

How real should a prop for a major motion picture look? Real enough to fool the audience? The actors? Real enough to fool whoever in the People’s Republic of China is in charge of re-tasking satellites? Well, if you answer yes to that last one, you may want send Jerry Bruckheimer your resume. The famous action movie producer claims that a prop plan for Top Gun: Maverick looked so real, that the Chinese government believed it was real and re-tasked satellites to capture images of it.

Luxury Launches reported on Bruckheimer’s amazing claim. Top Gun: Maverick will feature a fictional hypersonic jet called the Darkstar. It was a prop plane designed to look like the Darkstar that the producer claims caught the attention of the Chinese military. “The Navy told us that a Chinese satellite turned and headed on a different route to photograph that plane,” Bruckheimer said. “They thought it was real. That’s how real it looks.”

While Luxury Launches speculates this could be a PR stunt on Bruckheimer’s part, they also seem to think there’s a good chance he’s being straight. Top Gun: Maverick reportedly teamed up with Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works advanced projects division to design the Darkstar. In other words, the people who actually make jets for the military helped design the prop plane, which could explain the Chinese government’s reported confusion.

In fact, there’s a chance Skunk Works purposely incorporated some elements of a real jet into the fictional Darkstar. Luxury Launches points out that Lockheed is developing a “spiritual successor” to the game-changing supersonic SR-71 jet. Comparing the Darkstar to designs of the upcoming SR-72 supposedly reveals a bunch of similarities. The Chinese government may have has plenty of good reasons to aim their satellite at the Top Gun: Maverick prop plane.

When Top Gun: Maverick finally hits theaters at the end of May, it will mark the end of almost three full years of delays. The sequel to 1986’s Top Gun was initially scheduled to be released in July 2019, and between then and now it was delayed so many times you might want to rename it New Mutants. The sequel was delayed five times, and unlike the cases of a lot of film delays of the past few years, COVID-19 wasn’t to blame for all of those pushes back. Its first delay, according to Deadline, was to fine tune flight sequences while its second delay had more to do with Tom Cruise’s schedule. You can see the trailer for the flick below.

Top Gun: Maverick is finally ready to fly into theaters May 27. The film is directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) from a script by Ehren Kruger (The Ring), Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle), and Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects). Tom Cruise returns as the eponymous pilot, as does Val Kilmer as Maverick’s old rival Iceman. The film also stars Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), Miles Teller (Whiplash), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Glen Powell (Hidden Figures), Lewis Pullman (Catch-22), and Ed Harris (The Truman Show).