That "need for speed" you feel these days is likely to increase when you find out the director of arguably the most anticipated movie of 2022 so far, and certainly, one of the most highly-anticipated sequels in recent memory is an Iowa native.

That guy next to superstar Tom Cruise is the director of his new movie "Top Gun: Maverick". What you might not know about Joseph Kosinski is that he was born in Marshalltown, Iowa! Ahead of the movie's long-delayed premiere, Kosinski spoke to the Marshalltown Times-Republican. Movie-making wasn't entirely one of his passions as a youngster.

It wasn’t something I thought about when living in Marshalltown, but I had a great childhood there. What I loved about growing up there is it gave me a great imagination because you had a lot of time to grow up and have kind of an old fashioned childhood.”

"Top Gun: Maverick" Global Premiere Screening
Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

He graduated from Marshalltown High School in 1992, and then from college with two degrees, one in engineering from Stanford and another in architecture from Columbia. After cutting his teeth on short films and commercials, he got his first big break in 2010 working on "Tron: Legacy". Three years later would be his first collaboration with Cruise, "Oblivion", which also starred the LEGENDARY Morgan Freeman.

Premiere Of Universal Pictures' "Oblivion" - After Party
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In "Top Gun: Maverick", Cruise reprises his role as former Naval aviation student Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. This time, Maverick is returning as an instructor, ironically at the request of his old rival, now admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, originally played by Val Kilmer (who has a small cameo in the new film).

Kosinski recounts his experience with the first movie as being much like most of ours. He was mesmerized when he saw it at 12 years old at the local Orpheum Theater and relished the urgency involved with helming the sequel to the $350 million-grossing 1986 blockbuster.

The first film is beautiful, and certainly I wanted this film to feel like… when you do see it, in the first few minutes you’ll understand that it’s a ‘Top Gun’ movie — that we love ‘Top Gun’ and we’re going to take you back into that world.

In other words, while creating a follow-up to such a legendary flick after such a long time can often be considered a step into the "Danger Zone", its director says we can fully expect it to "Take our Breath Away".

"Top Gun: Maverick" Global Premiere Red Carpet
Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

"Top Gun: Maverick" premieres in theaters with an all-star cast that includes Cruise, Jennifer Connolly, Jon Hamm, and Miles Teller among others, on May 27.

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