Top Gun: Maverick Director Explains Why Meg Ryan And More OG Actors Aren’t Back For The Sequel
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Top Gun: Maverick will pay homage to the original movie in so many ways. From the return of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer to Jennifer Connelly’s casually mentioned character Penny finally appearing onscreen, the nostalgia is strong. While there are Easter eggs in the sequel, there are glaring omissions from the film. Namely, original female leads Meg Ryan and Kelly McGillis aren’t mentioned or seen in the follow-up. After receiving some pushback from some OG fans, Maverick’s director explained why the actresses and more OG actors weren’t asked back for the sequel.

Leaving out Ryan and McGillis threw some moviegoers off considering how pivotal they were to the original film. The You’ve Got Mail actress played “Goose” Bradshaw’s wife Carole in the 1986 blockbuster while the Witness actress was “Maverick” Mitchell’s love interest Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood. While both women had a major presence in the original movie, Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski revealed on ReelBlend that neither character came up during the sequel’s development. Kosinski was blunt about why the characters didn’t get brought back. He said they:

Not in the story that I worked on. Clearly, their spirits hang over the film in certain ways. There is a glimpse, as you guys know, of both of them in the film. But it was important that we wanted to make sure we were telling a new chapter of Maverick’s life. We didn’t want to be looking back the whole time. So, we’ve got his relationship with Penny Benjamin (which) is the focus of this story. Which, you know, for the diehard fans is a fun one because she was only mentioned briefly in (Top Gun). Just that one line (of dialogue) was a great starting point for this whole new character.

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