Tom Cruise made an epic landing onto the red carpet at the “Top Gun: Maverick” world premiere in San Diego Wednesday. The movie star arrived at the USS Midway Museum via a helicopter.

Cruise stepped out of the chopper, which read “Tom Cruise. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’,” on it and approached the droves of waiting photographers, reporters and fans, all itching to see the actor make his return as Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, 36 years later.

While Cruise wasn’t wearing Maverick’s signature flight suit, he did dress for the occasion, sporting a dark grey suit and tie and of course, a pair of aviator sunglasses.

Despite some early reports that Cruise himself was piloting the chopper, the actor spoke with ET’s Nischelle Turner and confirmed that he wasn’t behind the controls in this particular instance.

“No, not today. I do fly that helicopter, but not today,” Cruise said with a laugh.

ET with Cruise’s co-star, Jon Hamm, who plays Vice in the film, when Cruise made his magnificent entrance.

“I’m just glad he’s going through the back of my shot, so that’s perfect for me,” Hamm joked. “You just gotta watch in awe.”

“You don’t get better than that” the “Mad Men” alum added.

The long-awaited follow-up to 1986’s “Top Gun” hits theatres May 27, and it’s a film Hamm said fans of the franchise are going to want to see in theatres.

“This is a movie that you want to see in theatres,” Hamm shared. “It feels like a welcome back to the theatres, after a couple years of pause that we were all on. I think when people start seeing this in the theatres, and they see it big and loud, and they understand what kind of experience it is, they’re gonna forget about the last two years and they’re gonna start going back to theatres.”

ET also spoke to Jennifer Connelly, who stars opposite Cruise as Penny Benjamin, about what she’s learned from working with him on the film.

“Just witnessing it in person honestly,” Connelly said of Cruise’s work ethic. “I think that we have all witnessed his enthusiasms, and we all know about his bravery with stunts and his athleticism, and just getting to witness it in person was extraordinary.”

“Top Gun: Maverick” hits theatres May 27.


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