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Tom Cruise makes epic helicopter entrance at 'Top Gun: Maverick' world premiere

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Tom Cruise makes epic helicopter entrance at 'Top Gun: Maverick' world premiere
Cast member Tom Cruise attends the premiere of the motion picture drama "Top Gun: Maverick" aboard the USS Midway on Wednesday in San Diego. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 4 (UPI) -- Tom Cruise made a grand entrance onto the red carpet at the world premiere of Top Gun: Maverick on Wednesday in San Diego, arriving on the deck of the USS Midway aircraft carrier via helicopter.

The Top Gun star stepped out of the N547SA Airbus chopper -- which was branded with his full name and the title of his upcoming film on its side -- and approached a crowd of waiting photographers, reporters and fans on the ship.

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While he wasn't wearing Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell's signature flight suit for the occasion, Cruise donned a navy Brioni three-piece suit and a pair of aviator sunglasses. He waved to the crowd aboard the aircraft carrier as he walked across the tarmac.

In the new film, the 59-year-old Cruise is reprising his role as Maverick more than three decades after the original Top Gun debuted in 1986.

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Top Gun: Maverick was filmed more than two years ago and was one of many major Hollywood movies that became delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The film was initially set for a June 2020 release, but it was shifted to Dec. 2020. It later had release dates set for July 2021 and Nov. 2021.

Top Gun: Maverick will officially land in theaters May 27 ahead of Memorial Day Weekend. It had a screening at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month.

The movie welcomes back Val Kilmer as Iceman from the first movie and introduces multiple characters played by noteworthy actors who are new to the franchise -- Ed Harris, Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Connelly and Manny Jacinto.

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