Original 'Top Gun' Editor Returning to Work on Sequel (Exclusive)

Editor Chris Lebenzon earned his first Oscar nomination for the 1986 film.
Paramount
'Top Gun: Maverick'

After 34 years, veteran picture editor Chris Lebenzon is returning to the high-flying world of Top Gun.

Lebenzon has been tapped to work on Top Gun: Maverick, Paramount and Skydance’s sequel to the 1980s classic, giving him a closing-of-the-circle moment.

Not only did he act as editor, along with Billy Weber, on the 1986 original, he also earned his first Academy Award nomination for cutting the movie, which was directed by Tony Scott and noted to have introduced “MTV-style editing” to movies.

Joseph Kosinski is directing the new movie, for which Tom Cruise is reprising his role as hotshot pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Jerry Bruckheimer returns as producer.

Cruise appeared at July’s Comic-Con to introduce the trailer, which proved to be one of the buzzier moments of the pop culture confab.

The original earned Oscar nominations in film editing, as well as sound, sound effects editing, and won an Academy Award for original song (Berlin's "Take My Breath Away").

Lebenzon earned a second Oscar nomination for the 1995 thriller Crimson Tide, starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington, which like Top Gun was directed by Scott and produced by Bruckheimer. For Bruckheimer, his editing credits also include Cruise-starring Days of Thunder (also helmed by Scott), as well as Armageddon and Scott's Enemy of the State.

Lebenzon has edited Tim Burton’s movies for the past 25 years, which have included Sweeney Todd, Big Fish and the recent Dumbo.

Paramount will release Maverick on June 26.