Top Gun 2 is still aiming for lift off, said Jerry Bruckheimer today. “For 30 years we’ve been trying to make a sequel and we’re not going to stop. We still want to do it with Tom [Cruise] and Paramount are still interested in making it,” the producer said Sunday at the Produced By conference. “What Tom tells me is that no matter where he goes in the world, people refer to him as Maverick,” added Bruckheimer of Tom Cruise who starred as the rebel fighter jet pilot in the original 1986 movie. “It’s something he is excited about so as long as he keeps his enthusiasm hopefully we’ll get it made,” Bruckheimer said about the sequel and its star. Bruckheimer noted that the death of original Top Gun director Tony Scott last August did put a pause on the project.

In a wide-ranging discussion with Deadline’s Pete Hammond at the PGA event, the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise and this summer’s Lone Ranger producer also revealed that star Johnny Depp often travels with his Captain Jack Sparrow costume and visits children’s hospitals unannounced. “He knows he is a very fortunate person and he wants to give back,” Bruckheimer said. Praising the actor and others, Bruckheimer said the success of his films over the decades, both with partner Don Simpson and on his own, is “always about the talent… our company worships talent.”

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Bruckheimer said that while he hopes that Lone Ranger becomes a franchise with Depp and Armie Hammer, nothing has been decided yet. “It’s always up to the audience. If the audience likes the movie then Disney will come to me and we’ll make another or it will be a one-off,” he said about the nature of the “gambling business” of movies. On the other hand, critics do not seem to be that much of a worry to Bruckheimer. “Critics who loved My Dinner With Andre will not love The Lone Ranger but hopefully there are enough critics out there that have popular tastes,” he joked.

What wasn’t a joke to the big budget producer was the jam-packed marketplace Lone Ranger is entering into this season. “It’s very hard this summer,” Bruckheimer noted of the plethora of blockbusters coming out. “This summer everyone is cannibalizing the audience,” the producer added “You have to hold your seats, it’s not the number of theaters but the number of seats. [Man Of Steel] is coming out this week and then next week another blockbuster will come out, if there is another blockbuster, and Superman will move to small theaters and someone else will get their seats,” Bruckheimer said of Warner Bros’ upcoming Man Of Steel. He noted that Warner Bros and Legendary’s Pacific Rim is coming out the week after Lone Ranger debuts on the July 4 weekend and that worries him.

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In almost the same breath, Bruckheimer said Sunday that a lot of movies coming out at the same time can be a good thing. “I root for my competition to be successful because it increases the audience’s appetite for watching movies,” he added, noting that, in today’s environment of so much good TV and other platforms, movies have to work hard to get people out of their homes.