HomeAmerican Entertainment‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Didn’t Ask Original Stars Kelly McGillis, Meg Ryan to Return: Here’s Why

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Didn’t Ask Original Stars Kelly McGillis, Meg Ryan to Return: Here’s Why

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Massey/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Tom Cruise’s brand new “Top Gun” sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” premieres only in theaters on May 27th. Ahead of the film drop, we can’t wait to see what more the Hollywood icon brought to the 1980s narrative. Even more exciting, Tom Cruise welcomed back one of the film’s original cast members, Val Kilmer. Kilmer will reprise his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s former rival, “Iceman.” However, interestingly, Tom Cruise did not ask his onscreen partner, Kelly McGillis, back to reprise her “Top Gun” role as Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood.

Variety claims part of what made the original “Top Gun” so successful was the romance between Cruise and McGillis’s characters, Maverick and Charlie. However, the outlet also reported that, in making the brand new sequel, McGillis’s character was never even considered to return. Interestingly, neither was Meg Ryan. Ryan played Nick “Goose” Bradshaw’s wife Carole in the original film. Her absence is interesting as the Bradshaw family plays a prominent role in “Top Gun: Maverick.”

However, fortunately, we do have some answers why some of these original characters will not feature in the new film. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Director Explains Casting Choices Ahead of Premiere

Joseph Kosinski, the sequel’s director, confirmed the omission to Insider ahead of the film’s release. He explained, “Those weren’t stories that we were throwing around. I didn’t want every storyline to always be looking backwards. It was important to introduce some new characters.”

The outlet further revealed Kosinski instead preferred to “limit the connective tissue” between “Top Gun” and “Top Gun: Maverick” to two of the franchise’s original relationships. The first surrounds the relationship between Goose’s son Rooster (played by Miles Teller) and Tom Cruise’s Maverick. The second is the enduring relationship between Maverick and Val Killmer’s Iceman.

Now, instead of Kelly McGillis, the “Top Gun: Maverick” director revealed actress Jennifer Connolly will instead play the romantic lead. Playing Penny Benjamin, the outlet states her character is a single mom and owns a bar.

Kelly McGillis Previously Spoke Out About the ‘Top Gun’ Snub

While Kelly McGillis was central to the original “Top Gun,” she clearly plays no part in the upcoming “Top Gun: Maverick.” However, while fans of the original film might view the snub as offensive, the actress doesn’t seem to take too much of an issue with it.

Before Tom Cruise and the rest of the “Top Gun: Maverick” crew became completely enveloped in the film’s making, Kelly McGillis spoke out about the snub. In 2019, she said, “I’m old and I’m fat, and I look age appropriate for what my age is.”

She continued, “that is not what that whole scene,” presumably referring to the film and its creators, “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.”