In the wake of the tragic suicide of director/producer Tony Scott, there was some small murmuring about the future of Top Gun 2. Scott had been developing the sequel to his 1986 hit along with Tom Cruise, David Ellison’s Skydance Productions, and Paramount. And while the news one the film was hitting the web at a slow trickle, there was no doubt that the film was moving forward.

Without Scott, however, that seems to have changed. Paramount converted Top Gun to 3D, in part to prime audiences for the sequel, and is now trying to figure out how to release that film even as the sequel is stalled out.

The New York Times notes that the 3D conversion of Top Gun is done, but that Paramount is figuring out how to release the movie “without seeming insensitive or exploitative.” Scott had been involved in and enthusiastic about the 3D conversion, says the article, and there’s a good chance Paramount will still release the 3D version, possibly in February. There’s also hope to release the conversion in China, where the Titanic 3D release did big business.

But the piece also says the sequel “has fallen apart” without Scott, though it doesn’t offer much more detail. Scott had been set to direct, and was scouting locations for the film just prior to his death. The question of insensitivity might be raised even more by putting a new director on the sequel. It’s one thing to go back to that well with all the original participants on board (minus the late producer Don Simpson, who died in 1996) but to assign someone else to make the film could be a step that Paramount isn’t willing to take right now.

There’s the question of waiting on the sequel for a while longer, but if the studio is going to move ahead with the 3D release of Top Gun in the next quarter or two, then the momentum gained from that will be lost on a sequel that ends up being two or three years out.

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