Tom Cruise Gave Glen Powell His Blessing To Do Both Top Gun: Maverick And Devotion

When two star-studded films about naval aviation premiere within the same year, there's bound to be some comparison between them. For "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Devotion," both of which feature actor Glen Powell, such comparisons are all but inevitable. There are, of course, a few differences between the films: While "Maverick" is the follow-up to a great (and fictional) Tom Cruise film, "Devotion" depicts the true story of naval aviators Lt. Tom Hudner (Powell) and Ensign Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors). Still, that's not quite enough to keep jokes about Powell's fascination with flight at bay. Paired with the fact that he's also got his pilot's license in real life, it's a bit more than a casual coincidence.

Powell himself is well-aware of the pattern beginning to emerge in his filmography. It made it difficult to say yes to "Top Gun," especially since he had a responsibility to "Devotion" as the film's executive producer. The chance to star in the latter — and in a role that was tailor-made for Powell — was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Still, Powell felt a pressure to choose between one or the other. It wasn't until he brought these concerns to Cruise himself that he realized the solution wasn't as black and white.

Room for two

Powell spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his game-changing conversation with Tom Cruise:

"I said, 'Hey, Tom, I already have a naval aviation movie that's really close to my heart. And Tom said, 'There's room for two. You can do "Top Gun," you can do "Devotion." You don't have to choose.' The fact that Tom gave me the liberty to make both, Black Label and Sony gave me the liberty to make both — I feel like these are two movies that could not be more different from each other, but really complement just the love of aviation and the legacy of our men and women in uniform."

Powell's choice to do both projects was likely a relief for Adam Makos, who helped adapt "Devotion" from his book of the same name. "I was afraid that 'Top Gun' was going to derail this when he was offered that role," Makos admitted. "I thought, 'Jeez, he's gonna go for that. He's gonna leave us behind.' Because who wouldn't want to act alongside Tom Cruise?"

Makos' reservations were totally justified; fortunately Cruise — and everyone else involved — didn't see a conflict of interest. Both projects might have similar subjects, but they approach them in drastically different ways. As long as Powell keeps making films that are close to his heart, he can remain in the cockpit as long as he likes.