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Top Gun: Maverick director explains why two major characters didn’t return for sequel

By Isobel Lewis
Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan were deliberately not included in the Top Gunsequel, the film’s director has said.

Tom Cruise is reprising his role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick, a follow up to the 1986 action film.

The long-awaited sequel features a number of references to the first film, such as the return of Val Kilmer as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky and Miles Teller playing the son of Nick “Goose” Bradshaw.

However, two actors who didn’t return for the sequel are Kelly McGillis, who plays Maverick’s love interest Charlie Blackwood, and Meg Ryan as Goose’s wife Carole Bradshaw.

Speaking to Insider, Maverick director Joseph Kosinski admitted that he’d never considered bringing either of the women back.

“Those weren’t stories that we were throwing around,” Kosinski said, adding that the film already featured many links to the original.

“I didn’t want every storyline to always be looking backwards,” Kosinski said. “It was important to introduce some new characters.”

Top Gun: Maverick stars Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman and Ed Harris.

The movie was branded the “best film of the year” when first reactions emerged in April.

Top Gun: Maverick will premiere at Cannes Film Festival on 18 May and is released in UK cinemas on 27 May.

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Dive Deeper:
Top Gun: Maverick director explains why two major characters didn’t return for sequel
Joseph Kosinski admitted he never considered bringing either back
Top Gun director explains why he axed Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan from sequel
Joseph Kosinski has said that he wanted to bring new characters into the film, which is why he's not bringing…
Top Gun Maverick cast discuss throwing up due to G Force while filming sequel
Film star Tom Cruise insisted that his younger cast mates be given intensive fighter pilot training as part of their…
Top Gun: Maverick review – Tom Cruise soars in a sequel that’s as thrilling as blockbusters get
There’ll need to be a reckoning over the film’s politics and its treatment of women, but for now... we fist-pump
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Top Gun: Maverick – ‘miraculous’ Tom Cruise hailed in first reviews of ‘preposterously exciting’ sequel
The first verdicts on the long-awaited Top Gun sequel Top Gun: Maverick are in – and fans have reason to…
Top Gun: Maverick review – Tom Cruise soars in a sequel that’s as thrilling as blockbusters get
There’ll need to be a reckoning over the film’s politics and its treatment of women, but for now... we fist-pump
Get all your news in one place