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'Top Gun: Maverick' director FINALLY reveals why Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan aren't in the movie

Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan aren't part of the sequel to the 'Top Gun' movie, titled 'Top Gun: Maverick', and now we know why
UPDATED MAY 12, 2022
Tom Cruise in 'Top Gun: Maverick'; Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan in 'Top Gun' (Paramount Pictures)
Tom Cruise in 'Top Gun: Maverick'; Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan in 'Top Gun' (Paramount Pictures)

Thirty years after the release of the original ‘Top Gun’ movie, we are finally going to witness Maverick flying fighter jets once again in the upcoming action flick ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. The movie will see Cruise reprising the role of Maverick and training some of the newest recruits, which also includes his buddy Moose’s son. Apart from Cruise, the only person to return for the sequel is Val Kilmer and that happened because Cruise didn’t want to shoot the movie without Kilmer’s presence.

However, there are a lot of actors from the original movie that won’t be seen in the upcoming movie. All these actors played an important role in making the movie a hit among all demographics and it’s a travesty that they won’t be there in Maverick’s story anymore. One of the characters that people are already missing is Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood that was played by Kelly McGillis in the 1986 movie.


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The actress received a lot of praise for her acting and got a lot of love from the fans as well. So, it didn’t come as a shock that fans got really upset when it was announced that McGillis was returning for the sequel. But why is she not in the movie? It seems the film’s director Joseph Kosinski has given a proper answer to that query.

Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise in 'Top Gun' (1986) (Paramount Pictures)

Kosinski didn’t want stories to be “thrown around”

Director Joseph Kosinski, who donned the director’s hat for the sequel, revealed in an interview that he never had the intention of bringing McGillis and Meg Ryan for the 2022 installment. During the interview with Insider, he said that those characters didn’t have to be in the movie because it will mainly focus on where Maverick has reached in his 30-year+ career.

He said, “Those weren’t stories that we were throwing around.”

Joseph Kosinski attends the Global Premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick" on May 04, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Getty Images)

The director also explained that the movie already had many references from the original movie. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ will see the return of Kilmer’s Iceman and will feature a major plotline regarding Goose’s son, Rooster who is being played by Miles Teller. The filmmaker believed that it was important for him to introduce audiences with new characters.

“I didn't want every storyline to always be looking backward. It was important to introduce some new characters,” said Kosinski.

Actress Kelly McGillis speaks onstage during the 'Love Finds You in Sugar Creek, Ohio' panel discussion at the UP portion of the 2014 Winter Television Critics Association tour at the Langham Hotel on January 11, 2014 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

There have been discussions about McGillis’ absence from the movie and she has spoken about her role as well. In a 2019 interview with Entertainment Tonight, the veteran actress revealed that she was never asked to return for the sequel and always knew that the makers won't ask her to come back. She noted, “Oh god no. They did not, nor do I think they would ever.”

At the time, McGillis also said that she looks “age-appropriate” for what her age is and that’s not what the entire scene was about. She added, “I’m old, and I’m fat, and I look age-appropriate for what my age is. And that is not what that whole scene 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.” 

Meg Ryan attends The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Opening Gala at The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on September 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

As far as Ryan is concerned, she has never talked about the sequel. However, she hasn’t moved away from the world of cinema. She will be soon making her return to the genre of rom-com with the movie ‘What Happens Later’ in 2023.

Fans would surely miss McGillis and Ryan during the sequel. Let’s hope, ‘Top Gun’ franchise churn out more movies and we get to see them once again.

'Top Gun: Maverick' hits theatres on Friday, May 27.