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Hana Carter

Top Gun director explains why he axed Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan from sequel

The director of Top Gun has shed light on why Kelly McGillis isn't in the new sequel with Tom Cruise.

The 64-year-old who played Pete Maverick's teacher and love interest Charlie Blackwood has been left off the new cast list.

Despite her being one of the main roles in the original film, director Joseph Kosinski said that they wanted to move the story along with new characters.

Joseph Kosinski said: "Those weren't stories that we were throwing around."

The Top Gun boss explained that noted that both Iceman and Goose's story would be continued in Maverick - therefore he didn't want more narratives floating around.

Tom Cruise is making a return to Top Gun as Maverick, but without Kelly McGillis (Getty Images)
Kelly said that she thinks she's not been invited back because she's 'old and fat' (CBS via Getty Images)

He said: "I didn't want every storyline to always be looking backwards. It was important to introduce some new characters."

Meg Ryan, who played the wife of Goose Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards), is another core cast member to be left off the return.

She's not commented on the sequel to the 1986 movie, but she's reportedly busy with other projects.

The actress is set to make her awaited return to rom-coms in "What Happens Later" with David Duchovny, 61, which is due out next year.

Kelly as Charlie in Top Gun in 1986 (Paramount Pictures)

"I'm old, and I'm fat," McGillis explained. "And I look age-appropriate for what my age is. And that is not what that whole scene is about."

She added: "I'd much rather feel absolutely secure in my skin and my age than place any value in all that other stuff."

But not all the women in the film over the age of 50 have been axed, Jennifer Connelly, 51, will be the new leading lady.

Jerry Bruckheimer, Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis and Tony Scott (Michael Germana/Everett)

Jennifer, who plays Penny Benjamin, was mentioned in passing in the first film.

She was said to have had a short fling with Maverick.

But in the new film she portrays the single mum who owns a bar next to the flight school where they train fighter pilots, where her daughter Amelia (Lyliana Wray) is training.

“That was an amazing opportunity to bring Jennifer Connelly’s character into this film,” Joseph gushed.

Jennifer Connelly will be the new leading lady in the film (Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/REX/Shutterstock)
Jennifer will star alongside Tom Cruise in the new film (Getty Images for Paramount Pictu)

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The franchise will see the return of Val Kilmer as Tom "Iceman" Kazansky.

And newcomers to the film include John Hamm, Jay Ellis, Glen Powell and Monica Barbaro.

Top Gun: Maverick will be released in cinemas on May 27 this year.

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