Fans eagerly waiting to see Tom Cruise back in the cockpit for the long-anticipated sequel to Top Gun will have to wait a little longer.

The release date for Top Gun: Maverick has been pushed back to June of 2020.

It had been previously slated to hit theatres in July 2019.

ET is reporting that the one year delay is due to the extra time needed to shoot the complex flight sequences with new technology and planes, much of which will be done in 2019, and the decision to have the movie released in the summer blockbuster months.

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The sequel will follow Cruise's character - Pete Mitchell - from the 1986 original, as he is now an instructor at the Top Gun Academy.

Val Kilmer is also set to reprise his role as Iceman. Miles Teller will play the son of Maverick's former partner Goose (Anthony Edwards), who died in the original 1986 movie.

Jennifer Connelly, John Hamm, Ed Harris and Lewis Pullman have also joined the cast.

 Tom Cruise is reprising his role as Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell and Val Kilmer will be back as Iceman. Photo / Supplied
Tom Cruise is reprising his role as Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell and Val Kilmer will be back as Iceman. Photo / Supplied

Joe Kosinski, best known for helming Tron: Legacy (2010) and Oblivion (2013), is directing the film from a script by Peter Craig, Justin Marks, and Eric Warren Singer. Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the first movie with the late Don Simpson, will produce along with Cruise and Skydance CEO David Ellison.

The sequel has been in the works since 2010, when paramount approached producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott.

However when Tony — brother of fellow director Ridley Scott — committed suicide in 2012, the project's future was in question.

Cruise shared the first photo from the upcoming movie on his Instagram May 30, as he stepped back into his iconic uniform. '#Day1,' he captioned a pic of himself on the tarmac with the words, 'Feel the need,' written across the shot.

Top Gun: Maverick is slated for release on June 26, 2020.