Top Gun 2 director addresses Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryans absence in new movie

Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski has explained why Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan don’t appear in the long-awaited sequel.

Ahead of the movie’s release on May 24, the filmmaker sat down for a chat with Insider (opens in new tab), and was asked about his decision not to bring back Ryan’s Carole Bradshaw and McGillis’s Charlotte Blackwood – who was Tom Cruise’s onscreen love interest – from the 1986 original.

“Those weren’t stories that we were throwing around. I didn’t want every storyline to always be looking backwards,” he explained. “It was important to introduce some new characters.”

Top Gun 2 sees legendary pilot Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Cruise) forced to lead a new team of aspiring aviators, a position he’s actively tried to avoid for his entire Navy career. Danny Ramirez, Jon Hamm, Manny Jacinto, Monica Barbaro, Ed Harris, Glen Powell, and Lewis Pullman also star, while Val Kilmer is back as Maverick’s old nemesis, Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky.

Miles Teller and Jennifer Connelly round out the supporting cast as Bradley Bradshaw, the son of Carole and Maverick’s late best friend Goose, and Penny Benjamin, “the Admiral’s daughter” referred to in the first film who now owns a bar near the flight school Maverick teaches at.

“Penny Benjamin, a character we have heard mentioned but never seen before, that was an amazing opportunity to bring Jennifer Connelly’s character into this film,” Kosinski continued.

McGillis confirmed she wasn’t in Top Gun: Maverick way back in 2019 in an interview with Entertainment Tonight (opens in new tab).

Top Gun: Maverick releases in cinemas on May 24. While we wait, check out our roundup of the best action movies for some viewing inspiration.

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