Top Gun: Maverick has recently hit theaters. And fans seem incredibly pleased with the long-awaited nostalgic sequel to the classic 1986 original. Despite the fact that the film has proven a success with fans, Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer ended up being the only actors from the original film to reprise their roles in the new one. This means that a large number of memorable characters from the original are missing from the sequel. It including such major characters as Kelly McGillis’ Charlotte Blackwood, Tom Skerritt’s Mike “Viper” Metcalf, and Meg Ryan’s Carole Bradshaw. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at all of the original Top Gun cast members who weren’t invited back for the sequel.
The first Top Gun cast member we’ll be taking a look at in this video is Kelly McGillis. Of course, Kelly the actress tasked with playing the love interest of Tom Cruise’s character in the original film. Kelly’s character of Charlotte Blackwood was a major part of that film. And her and Tom’s character ended up together before the credits rolled. However, it seems that the pair’s relationship has fallen apart at some point between the original movie and 2022’s Top Gun: Maverick. In Charlotte’s place, a new love interest has written into the sequel, and a much younger actress is playing her.
That actress is Jennifer Connelly, who plays a brand-new character by the name of Penny Benjamin. Some fans understandably perturbed upon the announcement that Tom’s character of Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell going to be given a new love interest in the long-awaited sequel, but the reasoning is clear.
Kelly McGillis herself has proclaimed candidly that the reason that she’s not asked to reprise her role from the original film in 2022’s Top Gun: Maverick. It is because she’s too old and out of shape. Of course, Tom and Kelly are around the same age. But Kelly hasn’t kept up her appearances to quite the degree that Tom has. Tom Cruise has often noted for his seemingly alien ability to appear the same age over the course of the last few decades of his career. And Kelly claims that she had absolutely no intention whatsoever of trying to get back into Tom Cruise levels of shape in order to reprise her role from 1986’s Top Gun.
While fans may have initially upset to hear that Kelly McGillis not asked to reprise her Top Gun role in Top Gun: Maverick. It seems that the majority of fans are pleased with the final product. The long-awaited sequel has proven a hit with audiences. And it seems that most have come to accept Jennifer Connelly in the role of Maverick’s new love interest. Besides Kelly McGillis, there are a whole bunch of other cast members that not invited back for the sequel!
Besides Kelly McGillis, Tom Skerritt is arguably the star whose absence from Top Gun: Maverick has disappointed fans the second most. In the original film, Tom memorably played the character of Mike “Viper” Metcalf. Mike was Maverick’s head instructor at the TOPGUN academy, and he had a history with Maverick’s dad. Prior to the original film, the character of Viper supposed to have flown with Maverick’s father, Duke Mitchell, in the Vietnam War.
The relationship between the characters of Maverick and Viper was one of the things that made Top Gun so special. And it’s certainly a bummer that Tom not asked back to reprise his role in the new film. Many wondered if Tom Skerritt was going to end up making a cameo in the film. But it seems that Top Gun: Maverick is completely Skerritt-less. Thankfully, the film has plenty of new supporting cast members to make up for the lack of such original stars like Tom Skerritt. With some of the new additions to the cast including Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, and Ed Harris.
Michael Ironside was another memorable cast member from 1986’s Top Gun that wasn’t asked back to reprise his role in Top Gun: Maverick. While Kelly McGillis was too out of shape and Tom Skerritt was likely just too old. It seems that Michael Ironside not asked back because he has a beef with Jerry Bruckheimer. Of course, Jerry Bruckheimer was one of the producers of the original film. And he returned to his producer’s chair for this long-awaited sequel. It’s unclear what exactly the beef is between Michael and Jerry. But it seems that Michael not at all surprised that he’s not invited back to reprise his character from the original film in Top Gun: Maverick. Michael still a working actor, having recently appeared in the 2021 action film Nobody. In Top Gun, Michael played the character of Rick “Jester” Heatherly, who was another instructor at TOPGUN.
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In the original Top Gun, John Stockwell played the character of Bill “Cougar” Cortell. Despite the character’s courageous nickname, he proved to be somewhat of a coward when he suffered a panic attack early on in the film and resigned from TOPGUN. Of course, the fact that Bill ended up resigning makes it not much of a surprise that the actor who portrayed him not asked to return for the long-awaited sequel.
In 1986’s Top Gun, the character of Maverick had a few different Radio Intercept Officers, or RIOs, over the course of the film. The most memorable of those RIOs the character of Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, who portrayed by Anthony Edwards. Of course, Goose died during the original film. And ended up having to replaced in the role of Maverick’s RIO. The character of Sam “Merlin” Wells was Goose’s replacement. Actor Tim Robbins portrayed the character, and he did so relatively early on in his career. Since portraying the character of Merlin, Tim has become a much bigger star thanks to his turns in films such as Bull Durham and The Shawshank Redemption.
It’s unclear exactly why Tim Robbins not asked to reprise the role of Merlin in Top Gun: Maverick. Though one can assume that the actor’s still-busy schedule had something to do with it. In 2019, around the time that Top Gun: Maverick filmed. Tim Robbins could found performing one of the lead roles on the Stephen King-inspired series Castle Rock.
Meg Ryan is another star that appeared in 1986’s Top Gun relatively early on in their career. As compared to Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan doesn’t keep quite as high of a profile nowadays. In the original Top Gun, Meg portrayed the character of Goose’s wife. Since portraying the character of Carole Bradshaw in the original film, Meg Ryan has gone on to become a megastar thanks to her appearances in such romantic comedies as Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. However, she doesn’t like to act much nowadays.
Since Miles Teller’s character of Bradley Bradshaw in Top Gun: Maverick is supposed to be Carole Bradshaw’s son. Many fans were hoping that Meg Ryan would at least make a cameo in the new film. However, it seems that a prospective cameo wasn’t worth asking Meg to come out of her semi-retirement. The actress has only appeared in a handful of works since the dismal reception of 2003’s In the Cut. It which featured Meg in the lead role. The film widely criticized at the time and proved quite controversial. Despite having directed by critically acclaimed director Jane Campion.
It seems that the poor reception of In the Cut was enough to make Meg question her entire Hollywood career. Now that Jane has won the Academy Award for Best Director thanks to her work in 2021’s The Power of the Dog, perhaps Meg is ready to get back to acting! Regardless, it seems that Top Gun: Maverick wasn’t the right place for her to do it.
In the original Top Gun, Rick Rossovich played the character of Ron “Slider” Kerner. Ron was the RIO of Val Kilmer’s character of Tom “Iceman” Kazansky. Although Val Kilmer has returned to reprise the role of Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick, Rick not asked to come back to reprise the role of Slider. As with Meg Ryan, a cameo appearance by Rick could’ve easily factored into the film’s plot. However, it seems that the producers had other ideas for the sequel.
Whip Hubley and Barry Tubb
Whip Hubley played the character of Rick “Hollywood” Neven in 1986’s Top Gun. And he’s another actor that not asked back to reprise his role in Top Gun: Maverick. Barry Tubb played the character of Leonard “Wolman” Wolfe, who was Hollywood’s RIO. Given that Whip Hubley not asked to return to reprise his role in Top Gun: Maverick. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Barry Tubb not asked to come back to his reprise his role in the sequel, either.
Adrian Pasdar and Clarence Gilyard Jr.
Another pair of characters that didn’t end up returning to Top Gun: Maverick from the original film is the pair of Charles “Chipper” Piper and Marcus “Sundown” Williams. In 1986’s Top Gun, these characters portrayed by actors Adrian Pasdar and Clarence Gilyard Jr., respectively. Sundown was Chipper’s RIO in the original film. Neither Adrian nor Clarence asked to reprise their role in Top Gun: Maverick. And tthough their characters weren’t big parts of the original movie and their exclusion isn’t a huge deal. Overall, it seems that the return of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, plus the inclusion of Goose’s son, was enough to please fans.
While none of the aforementioned stars invited back to reprise their Top Gun roles in the film’s recently released sequel. And plenty of them are still working. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Kelly McGillis claims that she not asked to reprise her role from the original film in Top Gun: Maverick because she’s too out of shape. And that Michael Ironside claims he not invited back because he’s not on good terms with producer Jerry Bruckheimer? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!