Top Gun movie star Tom Cruise was so impressed with the Ohio State University Marching Band’s November halftime tribute to the film that he sent gifts and a letter of praise.

Cruise sent shirts from the sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, and invited the band to a private film screening when it opens next spring.

“The Top Gun tribute was fantastic. What a phenomenal performance — thank you!” Cruise wrote in his letter. “I’d love for you all to be my guests for a special screening of Top Gun: Maverick in Columbus this Spring. And best of luck to The Ohio State University in the Rose Bowl.”

Before OSU’s Marching and Athletic Band Director Christopher Hoch read the letter to the marching band students, he shared how he thought it was cool.

“We got a very interesting message from apparently a fan of ours who enjoys our work,” Hoch told his students. “Hopefully, you’ll enjoy this.”

The band shared a video of Hoch reading the letter and the students receiving the shirts.

The marching band initially performed the Top Gun tribute on Nov. 13 during the halftime of the game against Purdue. The performance featured a medley of songs including “Top Gun Anthem,” “Mighty Wings,” “Playing with the Boys,” “Lead Me On," “Take My Breath Away," “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” and “Danger Zone.”

During the performance, the band created formations of a fighter jet and Cruise’s iconic aviator glasses. It also spelled “Top Gun” and “Maverick,” Cruise’s character’s nickname.


The Top Gun sequel was originally scheduled to open on Nov. 19 before being pushed back to May 2022.