It’s been 36 years since Top Gun hit theaters.
Now Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, iconicly portrayed by a young Tom Cruise, is back in the cockpit in Top Gun: Maverick.
The highly-anticipated sequel to the 1986 action-drama premieres later this month, although two major female leads from the original story will not be starring: Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan.
McGillis played Charlie Blackwood, a flight instructor and the object of Maverick’s affections. Ryan, meanwhile, portrayed the wife of Goose Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards), Maverick’s best friend and co-pilot, who dies on the job.
Joseph Kosinski, who directed the sequel, told Insider that he has no intention of ever bringing the two women back for Maverick.
“These weren’t stories that we threw around,” Kosinski said.
He also explained that there is already too much narrative in the new film, including the return of Val Kilmer as Iceman Kazansky and Maverick coaching Goose’s son, Rooster (Miles Teller).
The sequel focuses on Maverick’s Navy piloting career 30 years after the first film and introduces a host of hopeful recruits for the veteran to train.
McGillis, now 64, previously spoke about not being asked to be in the second strip in 2019. “I’m old and I’m fat and I look age appropriate for my age. And that’s not what this whole scene is about. I’d much rather feel totally about myself and who I am at my age than valuing all these other things,” she told Entertainment Tonight.
For her part, Ryan hasn’t spoken out about her missing role in Maverick – but she is reportedly busy with other projects: The 60-year-old is set to make her long-awaited return to rom-coms in What Happens Later. ‘ opposite David Duchovny, 61, is due out next year.
Kosinski also revealed to Insiders that a character who was merely mentioned in the parent film will have a prominent role in the 2022 sequel. Jennifer Connelly, 51, puts a face to the name Penny Benjamin – referred to in the first film only as “the admiral’s daughter,” with whom Maverick is said to have had a brief affair.
The Oscar-winning actress plays a single mother who owns a bar next to the flight school where Maverick returns to lead a new generation of fighter pilots, including Penny’s daughter, Amelia (Lyliana Wray).
“This was a great opportunity to bring Jennifer Connelly’s character into this film,” Kosinski enthused
Other new additions to the franchise include Jon Hamm, Jay Ellis (“Insecure”), Glen Powell (“Hidden Figures”) and Monica Barbaro (“Chicago Justice”).
Top Gun: Maverick hits theaters nationwide on May 27th.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/11/why-top-gun-sequel-left-out-original-star-kelly-mcgillis/ Why the ‘Top Gun’ Sequel Left Out Original Star Kelly McGillis