Everett Collection

It’s one of those headlines that makes you think: “That’s probably not true … but it might be true.”

The story making the rounds is that production has halted on Top Gun: Maverick so star Tom Cruise can take some time and learn to personally fly Navy fighter jets. The story first took off in the U.K. tabloids (always a dependable source for future-debunked news).

It’s a report that you can imagine is possible given the 56-year-old actor’s total dedication to stunt realism that recently extended to solo flying a helicopter through the mountain ranges of Kashmir in the spectacular final act of Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

But studio sources at Paramount tell us the report is mostly, though not entirely, untrue.

Here’s the deal:

First, the Top Gun sequel is still shooting and will continue filming through spring (aside from the usual breaks around the holidays). So production hasn’t shut down.

Second, civilians are not allowed to use government equipment, particularly militarized jets — so even Tom Cruise can’t just take off in an F/A-18 Hornet, even if he does feel the need, the need for speed. (I know, we’re a bit bummed about that too).

However, Cruise, a licensed pilot, has gone through extensive training for the film and will do some of his own flying “in certain aircrafts.”

So Cruise will personally fly aircraft in the film, which is still in production, he just won’t be, you know, landing a fighter jet on a carrier deck for added realism. So Cruise’s stunt participation will be as awesome as possible without breaking U.S. military law.

Top Gun: Maverick stars Cruise as an instructor at the Top Gun flight school where he becomes a mentor to the son (Miles Teller) of his late friend Goose. Val Kilmer reprises his role as Iceman. Jennifer Connelly and Jon Hamm are also on board in new roles. The film is set to be released in 2020.