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Is it IMAX also? Some of the scenes?

ELLISON: It’s being DMR to release in IMAX. We didn’t get to shoot anything natively because at the time, every single IMAX screen was taken up by Star Wars and we thought we were releasing in December. Otherwise, we would’ve loved to shoot IMAX. It’s an amazing format.


You mentioned Star Wars. There’s this other little film under the Star Wars banner that has in Rogue in the title, and I was wondering if that caused any drama?

ELLISON: Fortunately, we had settled on the title long before that was released. There was a little bit of behind the scenes with Paramount and Disney but everybody was able to play nice together.

Did you have to okay Disney’s title?

ELLISON: We had the title beforehand.

GOLDBERG: It’s a line in our movie. It’s not something that was created late in the game.

ELLISON: And since the Disney and Star Wars film comes out over a year after us, there’s not as much conflict as other instances in the past where it’s been ‘we want the same title and we want to release on the same weekend or within a month of each other.’ So fortunately there was no drama on that one.


Do you want to talk a little bit about the cost of insuring Tom Cruise on these movies and does it keep on going up with each of these films?

ELLISON: One of my favorite moments, we actually didn’t have on this movie, but on Ghost Protocol, we wanted to hang Tom off the side of a building and we actually couldn’t get insurance and Tom wanted to fire the insurance company [laughs]. And we did and we got somebody to insure the movie. A hilarious but true story is it was the day we were actually rehearsing the Burj Khalifa, it was the whole stunt team, Tom on the side of the building, me, Brad Bird, and Bryan Burk, and Tom was padded up, had the helmet on, and we had rehearsed for months inside these hangars and sound stages and Tom kicked off the building as he would describe it spectacularly crashed into it head first, and me and Burk and Brad were like ‘this is a really bad idea’. In true Tom fashion, while we were all arguing amongst ourselves about how we were the largest idiots known to mankind for putting ourselves in this situation, Tom reset back to one with the stunt guys and nailed it perfectly on the second rehearsal. And we all kind of looked at each other and were like ‘well, that’s why he’s Tom Cruise.’ We shot it the next day, we shot it twice and it was spectacular.

Terminator Genisys Jai Courtney

GOLDBERG: A funny story that actually oddly ties together Terminator and this exact topic, Jai Courtney loves to ride motorcycles in real life. He owns a few, it’s his favorite thing in the world to do. And he told our insurance company that on Terminator Genisys and they told him he was not allowed to ride a motorcycle during the filming of our movie in order to be able to get insured. The very next phone call I got from him us ‘can somebody please explain to me how you get insurance for Tom Cruise to hang off the Burj and I can’t ride a motorcycle around New Orleans? How is that fair?’ True story.

That is awesome.

GOLDBERG: Because there’s a lot more care that goes into Tom Cruise hanging off the Burj than you driving around New Orleans.

Top Gun

You’re also a thrill seeker; you’re a pilot. And you have Top Gun 2 on your list, which is also with Tom Cruise. Can you talk a little bit about that?

ELLISON: Absolutely. I started flying aerobatics when I was thirteen years old, actually me and my dad took my first lesson on my thirteenth birthday. By the time I was seventeen, I was flying air shows and have thousands of hours flying surface level aerobatics. I absolutely love it. I’ve got three hundred skydives, used to sky surf until that put me in the hospital really badly so I thought maybe let’s not do that anymore, but love aviation, and Top Gun definitely fits into the seminal movie of my childhood, and as a pilot, that is really the movie. Justin Marks is writing the screenplay right now. He has a phenomenal take to really update that world for what fighter pilots in the navy has turned into today. There is an amazing role for Maverick in the movie and there is no Top Gun without Maverick, and it is going to be Maverick playing Maverick. It is I don’t think what people are going to expect, and we are very, very hopeful that we get to make the movie very soon. But like all things, it all comes down to the script, and Justin is writing as we speak.

You’re gonna do what a lot of sequels have been doing now which is incorporate real use of time from the first one to now.

ELLISON and GOLDBERG: Absolutely.

Top Gun

One of the things about the first movie is the visuals and the dogfights were really well done, and I would imagine now with modern technology you can do action in a whole new way. Is that already being thought about in terms of the action set pieces, or in 3-D?

ELLISON: Absolutely, I think this is a movie that should be in 3-D and in IMAX, and again something that you can shoot practically. As everyone knows with Tom, he is 100% going to want to be in those airplanes shooting it practically. When you look at the world of dogfighting, what’s interesting about it is that it’s not a world that exists to the same degree when the original movie came out. This world has not been explored. It is very much a world we live in today where it’s drone technology and fifth generation fighters are really what the United States Navy is calling the last man-made fighter that we’re actually going to produce so it’s really exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today are all fun things that we’re gonna get to dive into in this movie.

David Ellison in Flyboys

You’ve done some acting in the past.

ELLISON: Never again [laughs]. Not in a million years.

Not even in Top Gun 2?

ELLISON: Never ever again, nobody could pay me enough. No, never in a million years.

GOLDBERG: Speaking of acting, here’s the one thing we haven’t talked about from Rogue Nation, all kidding aside, and that is Rebecca Ferguson.

Rebecca Ferguson

Heard great things.

GOLDBERG: When you all see this movie, you are going to walk and say ‘this woman’s a movie star.’ She’s incredible in this film, I mean incredible. I think she brings something, no offense to other people who have been in prior films, but this woman has a physicality to her that is unreal. You’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the move with the legs around somebody’s neck, it’s the tip of the iceberg with what she does in this movie. I promise you will say ‘you were right’ when the movie’s over.

Like Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys, is that a focus for you to have these strong female characters?

GOLDBERG and ELLISON: Absolutely.

GOLDBERG: I have a 21-month-old daughter. I want her watching a woman like this.

When you are working with someone like Rebecca, you love her work, you happen to run Skydance, and you see the dailies and you know what she’s doing. Does that all of a sudden mean you’re thinking ‘we need to get her in something else before people realize how good she is. What else is she good in?’

GOLDBERG: There might be something else she’s looking at right now.

Is it a Skydance movie?

GOLDBERG: It very well might be.


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