Nat Geo & Rex Greenlight U.S. Navy Fighter Pilot School Doc


National Geographic and Rex, part of Zinc Media Group, have greenlit Top Gun: The Next Generation (w.t.), a docuseries with unprecedented access to one of the U.S. Navy’s training programs.

The title will follow a group of student pilots as they push their limits in the Advanced Flight Training Program, embarking on some of the most challenging flight tests possible. The elite nature of the course means that only the absolute best make it to the top to fly the world’s most advanced jet, the F-35C Lightning II.

The observational documentary will be told from the perspective of a diverse range of Navy students, following them every step of the way, from the classroom to the air.

“With so many millions of fans of the film around the world, I was immediately drawn to this series; these elite jet pilots are not only extremely accomplished and impressive, but all have very different stories to tell,” said Tom McDonald, executive VP of global factual and unscripted content at National Geographic. “With Nat Geo’s exclusive unprecedented inside access, this series promises to be an exhilarating, visually jaw-dropping and fascinating journey into the intensely competitive world of elite flying.”

Tanya Shaw, managing director of Zinc Television, added, “The intimate access we have gained to the characters and the emotional character-led story arcs that run through the series will paint a vivid, compelling narrative around the young men and women embarking on this highly stressful process. That narrative will elevate the series beyond the noise and spectacle of fighter jets to tell the tense, nuanced and poignant human stories behind the public-facing bravado. This is a unique project and we are thrilled to be bringing it to viewers.”