It’s exciting. When you’re dealing with a property at that level, there are some major things you can do. The timing is really nice with that. Tasteful things, but that also live in the popular, top echelon of our culture. We’re in "let’s develop great ideas" mode. It’s important that I’m on point now, developing these opportunities with artists and writers and producers. For example, we can use different scenes in the movie, which will be timeless, just as they were in the first one, where I can have my fingerprints on the picture and do some great things for artists. These are conversations that are happening with the studio. It’s not out until July of next year so I’m glad we’re not in crazy rush mode. I can arrange things for this project that are really big time. It’s just speculation at this point, but the possibility of integrating the film promotion with the Super Bowl half-time show. I’m trying to apply my sensibilities, tastes, contacts and relationships in the industry at a higher level in terms of overall mainstream marketing and promotion.
While Bentley has lined up the music supervision job for the forthcoming "Top Gun: Maverick" movie, the nationwide search for the voice of “Morning Becomes Eclectic” continues, with hosting duties for the remainder of 2019 being handled by a revolving crew of KCRW staples: Anne Litt, Garth Trinidad, Aaron Byrd and Raul Campos. (In the future, the music director position will be separate from MBE host.) Just ahead of Bentley's last day, he sat with Variety to look back on his time at the station and ahead to his next adventure.
Will you be doing a Metropolis club night?
What is the first venture we will see from you after KCRW?
Ludwig Göransson, Academy Award winner this year, top of the game right now, I consider him a friend. You have to go after the score. I have several friends I would love to work with. I’ll need to make the decision if I want to do that. People say [to me], ‘Oh you could do a lot of music supervision.’ But it’s such a rare case where a friend of yours calls you and says, "Can you come on board? Let’s do this." It’s much more common to have to really pound the pavement and find jobs that aren’t always savory. I’ll look for those, and we’ll see. There are opportunities with him, and others. You have to be active. He just finished "Terminator: Dark Fate." There are newer guys that I feel very warm around. Junkie XL, a guy I helped get his start in Hollywood by giving him a chance on The Matrix and now he’s big time.
Is this the path you're taking? Music supervision seems to be a popular gig for KCRW DJs, and it's one you have experience with, having worked on music in 'The Matrix' films and; Tron: Legacy,' among others.
Have you had conversations with people about those kinds of deals?
They’ve completely reimagined that space and they want to do programming. I’m willing to take a risk on myself to retain that. It’s all about having an interest in something I create. What’s important in this next stage for me is ownership. Also, the folks at The Soraya, the performing arts center at Cal State Northridge, they would love some help and direction. I want to at least try on my own first. I want to try and do it independently if I can. I want to look at the Music Center, which have just done a big redesign of the whole courtyard area. I want to surround myself with the best people possible and the best venues possible. There are different ways I can express my live music curation ideas. I’m cautiously optimistic about that.
I see Jason Bentley Presents as a more diverse presentation. People were just there to socialize and listen to the music. I have to look for the right scenario because where it inhabits has to be a place I want to be, and I don’t want to be at a nightclub in Hollywood on Saturday night. Metropolis is more specific and plays to my first love of dance music so it’s wide open with that. Hopefully something more in that spirit can happen for Metropolis. It had so much vibe. I think it will be riffing on new interpretations of the dance music experience we’ve seen. I went to Berlin a few years ago and they were having these great parties during the day by the river.
Among the unanswered questions: Where is Bentley going and who will be his replacement? The mid-June announcement that Jason Bentley was leaving KCRW as music director and the host of “Morning Become Eclectic” has been the subject of much speculation. Three months later, we're not much closer to an answer.
You mean in a corner office environment?
Through KCRW I’ve built some of their greatest event brands, like the Masquerade Ball and the five years of free concerts at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City. It gives me an opportunity to be a part of the fabric of LA. Initially I was thinking, "I’ve got to have a Halloween show" or, "I’ve got to have a New Year’s Eve show," but it takes more energy than you expect. I’m interested in producing live events. The process, from concept to realization, is very gratifying. I feel I have that trust with the audience and with the community to curate music events.
I’m going to try and stay entrepreneurial and independent. Even corner office, I just don’t know if that’s my nature. I know a lot of people who do it that way that are an inspiration to me. On your own terms you can find success and continue to do what you love and what you want to do.” /> Or any artist for that matter. Odesza and their management group have created a whole ecosystem for themselves, and they’ve looked for support where they need it with strategic partnerships. I would have to be retrained somewhat. I think it’s possible.
Now the understanding is, I deliver them a radio show exclusively called Metropolis, but outside of that I’m free to develop ideas, which had always been a constraint before. Whatever created revenue for me was a conflict of interest. It was a conflict of interest working as a music director of a public radio station and exploiting a club brand making T-shirts, hats. One of my revised terms when I agreed to continue to do Metropolis at KCRW was my having more ownership of the brand. But now, with my new control and new agreement, I can pursue that.
Have you spoken to any established promoters to get their support in putting on events?
Coincidence? You started working as the music supervisor for 'Top Gun: Maverick' around the same time as your KCRW exit.
But, it’s a different time in the record business. It might be more interesting. It was a frustrating experience. My experience at Maverick really soured me. That is a whole other thing you have  to fully invest in. Right now, label deals, distribution deals, they’re not pulling me.
Do you have an interest in returning to a record label environment?
You’ve spoken about a Jason Bentley Presents series of concerts. Will we see that?
I’ve had lots of great meetings with great executives, whether it’s WME or CAA. I’m talking, listening and thinking but I’m not rushing the process. I’ve gone on those dates and I’m just not feeling it. I feel supported. I don’t know if I can function in a cubicle environment. Maybe that opportunity will arise, but I don’t see anything attractive.

"Oblivion" helmer Joe Kosinski is directing the film, a sequel to the 1986 "Top Gun," from a script by Peter Craig, Justin Marks, and Eric Warren Singer. Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the first film with the late Don Simpson, will produce with Cruise and Skydance CEO David Ellison.
Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Lewis Pullman, Charles Parnell, Jay Ellis, Bashir Salahuddin, Danny Ramirez, and Monica Barbaro have also been cast. Val Kilmer will reprise his role as Tom "Iceman" Kazansky in the sequel.
Tom Cruise's "Top Gun" sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick," has been pushed back nearly a year from July 12, 2019, to June 26, 2020.
A spokesman for Paramount Pictures, which made the announcement on Wednesday, said the extra time will give the filmmakers the opportunity to work out logistics of presenting the flight sequences with new technology and planes. The sequel will be set in a world of drone technology and will explore the end of the era of dogfighting, with Cruise portraying a flight instructor. In May, Cruise posted a photo of himself in front of what appeared to be a Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet.
The film, starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, has hauled $188 million domestically and $144 million internationally. Paramount also announced on Wednesday that it has dated its sequel to horror hit "A Quiet Place" for May 15, 2020.
Krasinski directed the story of an isolated family of four who must live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound. He's working on the script for the sequel.
The original film was a massive success, grossing more than $350 million worldwide on a $15 million budget.
"Only the Brave" star Miles Teller had been tapped to play Goose's son and Maverick's new protege. Goose, the co-pilot to Cruise's character in the original, was played by Anthony Edwards.