A “wholesale trade” led to Lady Gaga boarding the project and writing the ballad “Hold My Hand.”
The sky is not big enough for these dueling airmen. Twenty-One Pilots frontman Tyler Joseph has alleged that “Top Gun: Maverick” star and producer Tom Cruise “fired” the band from the sequel’s soundtrack.
Joseph explained on Los Angeles-based radio station KROQ that he thought his Grammy-winning two-person band was flying high after Paramount Pictures hired her to contribute to the “Top Gun 2” soundtrack. However, Joseph said that Cruise was not a fan of the Pilots’ sound.
“I was working with the music placement person for the new ‘Top Gun’ on writing a new song for them, and then I think Tom Cruise came in and fired them all,” Joseph said. “Have you seen that new ‘Top Gun’ thing that he has? The trailer has been out for about three years, so there have been some revisions, and I was a part of it, so they kept going.”
Joseph noted that he “watched a few scenes” of the film, but did not begin writing material before multiple release date delays due to the pandemic. “Top Gun: Maverick” now premieres at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival before hitting theaters on May 27.
“Actually, it was shortly after that they brought me in to show me parts of the movie and what they were looking for and stuff,” Joseph added. “Then I found out there was like a wholesale exchange.”
That “exchange” included Lady Gaga on board the film as a score collaborator along with Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe and Harold Faltermeyer. The Oscar winner also premiered the original song “Hold My Hand” for the long-awaited sequel, set 30 years after the 1986 original.
“When I wrote this song for ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ I didn’t even realize the multiple layers that encompassed the heart of the movie, my own psyche, and the nature of the world we’ve been living in,” Gaga captioned when announcing the simple “This song is a love letter to the world during and after a very hard time.”
Cruise praised Gaga’s dedication to the film while on “The Late Late Show”, saying that the song “opened up the whole film” and cemented the “emotional core” of the epic film.
“The song that she had written was a perfect fit and really became the underlying score and heartbeat of our movie,” Cruise said.