Since its May 25 release, "Top Gun: Maverick" has seen historic numbers at the box office. As of the time of this writing, according to Box Office Mojo, the film has earned a domestic gross of $717,994,195. It's being re-released for a brief period in December as well, making that number likely to rise.

Massive movie blockbusters are nothing new to superstar Tom Cruise or co-star Jennifer Connelly. But that guy next to them in the photo has a definite breakout on his hands, and the best part is, director Joseph Kosinski was born right here in Hawkeye state.

"Top Gun: Maverick" Mexico Press Day
Getty Images for Paramount Pictu

Kosinski was born and raised in Marshalltown and earlier this year spoke to the Marshalltown Times-Republican. Movie-making wasn't entirely one of his passions as a youngster.

It wasn’t something I thought about when living in Marshalltown, but I had a great childhood there. What I loved about growing up there is it gave me a great imagination because you had a lot of time to grow up and have kind of an old fashioned childhood.”

"Top Gun: Maverick" Global Premiere Screening
Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

He graduated from Marshalltown High School in 1992, and then from college with two degrees, one in engineering from Stanford and another in architecture from Columbia. After cutting his teeth on short films and commercials, he got his first big break in 2010 working on "Tron: Legacy". Three years later would be his first collaboration with Cruise, "Oblivion", which also starred the LEGENDARY Morgan Freeman.

Premiere Of Universal Pictures' "Oblivion" - After Party
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In "Top Gun: Maverick", Cruise reprises his role as former Naval aviation student Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. This time, Maverick is returning as an instructor, ironically at the request of his old rival, now admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, originally played by Val Kilmer (who has a small cameo in the new film).

Kosinski recounts his experience with the first movie as being much like most of ours. He was mesmerized when he saw it at 12 years old at the local Orpheum Theater and relished the urgency involved with helming the sequel to the $350 million-grossing 1986 blockbuster.

The first film is beautiful, and certainly I wanted this film to feel like… when you do see it, in the first few minutes you’ll understand that it’s a ‘Top Gun’ movie — that we love ‘Top Gun’ and we’re going to take you back into that world.

"Top Gun: Maverick" makes its official streaming debut on December 22nd on Paramount +, with an all-star cast that includes Cruise, Connelly, Jon Hamm, and Miles Teller among others.

"Top Gun: Maverick" Global Premiere Red Carpet
Getty Images for Paramount Pictures


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