Blue Angels Documentary to Hit IMAX Theaters

Blue Angels U.S. Navy
May 15, 2024 Topic: military Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: U.S. NavyBlue AngelsHollywoodTop Gun: Maverick

Blue Angels Documentary to Hit IMAX Theaters

The skills of the U.S. Navy's elite Flight Demonstration Squadron are featured in a soon-to-be-released documentary. 


The Hollywood blockbuster season is already in full swing—but in addition to the latest Planet of the Apes or Mad Max spectacle, this month will see the release of the Amazon MGM Studios documentary The Blue Angels. This will be the first documentary to bring audiences inside the cockpit of the U.S. Navy’s elite Flight Demonstration Squadron, which has captivated aviation buffs with jaw-dropping stunts for more than seventy-five years.

Blue Angels


The film, which was produced by Top Gun: Maverick and Devotion star Glen Powell along with J.J. Abrams and directed by Paul Crowder, will premiere in IMAX theaters on May 17 for a six-day run, followed by a global streaming release on Amazon’s Prime Video.

In addition to the aerial maneuvers, The Blue Angels also include a rare look inside the pilot’s briefing room, highlighting the preparation and training that goes into becoming selected for the elite demonstration team. It chronicles the team’s 2022 season, from the competitive selection process to the rigorous training to the exhausting tour.

“This is the first time that we’re going to get to share details of what it’s like to be a Blue Angel,” explained Lieutenant Commander Monica “Doc” Borza, a Virginia Tech graduate who served as the fourth female physician in history to be the Flight Surgeon for the Blue Angels from 2020 to 2022.

“We are very honored to be able to have that opportunity to touch that many lives. And we hope that inspires others to follow their dreams,” Borza told 13 News Now.

The Real Deal With the Blue Angels

While Abrams is used to working with CGI when making Star Wars and Star Trek films, this time, it is far more real as it involved actual U.S. Navy aviators.

“I’m used to doing films that have special effects, and you plan these moves, and it’s cool, but it’s not real,” Abrams said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “What these pilots do, it’s real. There are no second chances. It is truly a life-and-death demonstration.”

Powell, who starred in the two military aviation-themed films of 2022, including Top Gun: Maverick, echoed the sentiment.

Blue Angels

“What makes this documentary different than seeing it from the ground is you’re not here; you’re in it,” explained Powell.

The film was shot with an IMAX camera rigged to a helicopter, marking the first time a civilian aircraft had been allowed to fly within the performance airspace known as “The Box.” At times, the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornets flew within a foot of each other.

“A lot of consideration went into how to shoot the Blue Angels in ways you’ve never seen before,” confirmed Abrams. “It’s the closest I think any of us will come to being in the cockpit with these pilots. It’s a remarkable thing to see.”

The aerial camera unit for The Blue Angels was also responsible for the flying sequences in Top Gun: Maverick, and as The Hollywood Reporter noted—even with a fair amount of padding to make this feature-length—“this is one film that’s definitely worth catching on the big screen.”

The Blue Angels will arrive in theaters exclusively in IMAX on May 17 before streaming globally on Prime Video beginning May 23.

Author Experience and Expertise: Peter Suciu

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu. You can email the author: [email protected].

Image: Creative Commons.