Paramount has officially announced a release date for Top Gun 2, and confirmed its director. Rumblings of a sequel to Top Gun have been around for years, but the project almost seemed destined to be stuck in development hell. However, things have turned around this summer following Tom Cruise confirming that a sequel was happening, which he thought he would film in the next year. Immediately after this revelation, word of the development continued to spread with an ongoing director search.

One of the names that surfaced during this time was Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski, with reports saying he was the front-runner for the job. That appears to have been the case with him officially onboard to direct the summer 2019 (hopeful) hit.

Deadline broke the news of Top Gun 2 getting an official release date and finalizing a deal to bring Kosinski onto the project. With he and Cruise officially attached, Paramount has staked its claim with a July 12, 2019 release date. The report also details the story briefly, summarizing the plot as Maverick being a flight instructor for the next generation of pilots.

The hope here for Paramount has to be that the nostalgia factor for Top Gun will kick in two years from now and propel the film to being a success. There has not been a great track record in Hollywood recently of making long-awaited sequels, reboots, or reimaginings of beloved films. Hopefully, Top Gun 2 will be a big exception to that and steer clear of any comparisons to Independence Day: Resurgence, Zoolander 2, and others.

Based on the talent involved so far, Top Gun 2 – or Top Gun: Maverick if Cruise is to be believed – has talent involved to make sure that doesn’t happen. Even though neither of Kosinski’s previous directorial efforts fared well with critics, both have their fans and his previous collaboration with Cruise will help. The script meanwhile has seen work from Peter Craig (The Town, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 & 2), Justin Marks (The Jungle Book), as well as Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz – who both did X-Men: First Class and Thor.

Even though this all sounds good on paper, it will be the execution that ultimately dictates the quality of film audiences get. Cruise has continued to be an action star in the years since Top Gun, proving he can open both great and bad movies worldwide. Hopefully his stardom will be put to good use in a quality film for Top Gun 2.