Top Gun director reveals why Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan were cut from sequel

16 May 2022, 15:11

Fans have noticed a glaring omission from the new Top Gun sequel.
Fans have noticed a glaring omission from the new Top Gun sequel. Picture: Paramount Pictures

By Thomas Curtis-Horsfall

Top Gun: Maverick brings back one of the most beloved movie roles of the 1980s.

Tom Cruise returns as daredevil aviator Maverick in the new sequel, which will hit cinemas at the end of the month 36 years after the original was released.

There was a huge demand to see the high-flying characters reprised on the big screen, with the film's budget reportedly totalling £152 million.

The stories of Val Kilmer's sarcastic rival Iceman and Maverick's best friend/wingman Goose have been given a new lease of life in the Lady Gaga-endorsed sequel that's wowed audiences who saw previews at Cannes and CinemaCon.

But fans have noticed a couple of glaring omissions from Top Gun: Maverick.

One of which was one of the original film's leading characters - Charlie Blackwood, Maverick's instructor and love interest played by Kelly McGillis.

There was no room for Kelly McGillis' character Charlie Blackwood in the new Top Gun sequel.
There was no room for Kelly McGillis' character Charlie Blackwood in the new Top Gun sequel. Picture: Paramount Pictures

After reviving the film's central characters Maverick, Iceman, and Goose (via his son Lieutenant Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw played by Miles Teller), the director has revealed why there was no room for McGillis' return.

"Those weren't stories that we were throwing around" said Joseph Kosinski, the director of Top Gun: Maverick who was handed the baton from the original's director Tony Scott.

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

And the sequel has introduced plenty of new characters and storylines with its ensemble cast which includes stars such as Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, and Ed Harris.

Kosinski is proud of the new character's narratives he's introduced however, particular Jennifer Connelly who plays a single mum who owns a bar next to the flight school, where her daughter is training.

"That was an amazing opportunity to bring Jennifer Connelly’s character into this film,” Kosinski gushed, after her character Penny was briefly mentioned in the first film.

Meg Ryan played the wife of 'Goose' Bradshaw in the original Top Gun.
Meg Ryan played the wife of 'Goose' Bradshaw in the original Top Gun. Picture: Paramount Pictures

Meg Ryan's character, the wife of 'Goose' Bradshaw played by Anthony Edwards, is another core cast member to be given the chop.

She has yet to comment on the new sequel, so it's safe to say she's not all that fussed and is busy with other projects.

Kelly McGillis was recently asked if she'd return to Top Gun when the first trailers came out.

"You know what, I don't know how to answer that because one, it hasn't happened," McGillis said.

"Two, if and when it did happen, I would have to assess where I am, what I'm doing, what's going on ... I can't project what I would or wouldn't do in the future. I have no idea because I don't know where I'll be."

Kelly McGillis, who gave up acting to raise a family, is much happier in her own skin these days.
Kelly McGillis, who gave up acting to raise a family, is much happier in her own skin these days. Picture: Getty

The 62-year old actress seems to have made peace with the fact that her former leading character Charlie was axed, and has moved away from the world of acting almost entirely.

"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."

Good on her. But let's hope the new characters live up to the expectation.

After its initial release, Top Gun went on to become the highest-grossing movie of 1986, and is widely considered as one of the most iconic films of the decade due to its high-octane action sequences and glossy style.

Top Gun: Maverick was dedicated to the original film's director Tony Scott, who died in 2012.