Why Top Gun: Maverick intentionally left out Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan

The director of Top Gun: Maverick has spilled on why two of the original movie’s biggest stars were intentionally cut from the sequel.

It’s been 36 years since Top Gun zoomed through theaters.

Now, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, iconically 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, though two major female leads from the original story won’t be seen: Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan.

McGillis played Charlie Blackwood, a flight instructor and the object of Maverick’s affection. 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, confessed to insider that he had no intention of ever bringing the two women back for Maverick.

“Those weren’t stories that we were throwing around,” Kosinski said.

He also explained that there were already too many narratives occurring in the new film, including the return of Val Kilmer as Iceman Kazansky, and Maverick training Goose’s son, Rooster (Miles Teller).

The sequel focuses on Maverick’s Navy pilot career 30 years after the first film, and introduces a slew of hopeful recruits for the veteran to train.

McGillis, now 64, previously discussed not being asked to join the second flick back in 2019. “I’m old, and I’m fat, and I look age-appropriate for what my age is. And that is not what that whole scene is about. To me, I’d much rather feel absolutely in my skin and who I am at my age as opposed to placing a value on all that other stuff,” she told Entertainment Tonight.

Ryan, for her part, hasn’t spoken about her missing role in Maverick — but she’s reportedly busy with other projects.

The 60-year-old will make her long-awaited return to rom-coms in What Happens Lateropposite David Duchovny, 61, due out next year.

Kosinski also revealed to insider that one character, who was merely mentioned in the parent film, will play a prominent role in the 2022 installation.

Jennifer Connelly, 51, puts a face to the name Penny Benjamin — referred to only as “the admiral’s daughter” in the first movie, with whom Maverick was said to have a short fling.

The Oscar winner portrays 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).

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

Other newcomers to the franchise include Jon Hamm, Jay Ellis (insecure), Glen Powell (Hidden Figures) and Monica Barbaro (Chicago Justice).

Top Gun: Maverick will premiere in Australia on May 26.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

Originally published as Why Top Gun sequel intentionally left out Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan


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