The fate of a "Top Gun" sequel is unclear, following the recent suicide of director Tony Scott.
A sequel has been in the works for two years and had Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer attached to the project. Tom Cruise was also slated to reprise his role as fighter pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, but in a smaller part than the original.
In anticipation of the sequel, Paramount Pictures completed work on a 3-D version of the 1986 film with Legend3D, a company which converts films from 2-D. According to the New York Times, Paramount is now concerned as to whether a release of the 3-D film would seem "insensitive or exploitative" following Scott's death.
The 1986 movie helped turn Cruise into an international sex symbol and depicted male students of an elite flying school for fighter pilots. In the film, Cruise's character, "Maverick," engaged in a romance with a civilian instructor, played by Kelly McGillis.
"Top Gun," which also starred Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards, has been parodied in modern pop culture and helped inspire the use of the word "wingman," The film has grossed more than $354 million worldwide.
According to the Times, Scott contributed enthusiastically to the film's 3-D conversion, in the weeks before his death on August 19, 2012. "Top Gun 3-D" was reportedly aiming for a February 2013 release, though Paramount declined to comment on the matter.
Scott, who was also known for directing films like "Days of Thunder," "True Romance" and "Beverly Hills Cop II," died at the age of 68 after jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles Harbor. At the time of his death, he had 27 films in development and another five in production.
Cruise, who collaborated with Scott on "Top Gun" and "Days of Thunder," commented on the director's death. The pair reportedly met up with each other as late as Friday, August 17, to do research for the sequel while touring a Naval air station in Nevada.
"Tony was my dear friend and I will really miss him," Cruise said in a statement obtained by OTRC.com on August 20. "He was a creative visionary whose mark on film is immeasurable. My deepest sorrow and thoughts are with his family at this time."