Top Gun is once again soaring to incredible heights at the box office as film buffs flock to cinemas to see the belated sequel Maverick, featuring original stars Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer.


The film delivered the biggest opening weekend of Cruise's career to date, which is no small feat considering the number of high-profile projects he has been attached to over the years.

Critics have also been kind to Maverick, with many considering it a superior film to its precursor and hailing star-making turns from the likes of newcomers Miles Teller and Glen Powell (see our Top Gun: Maverick review for more on that).

The huge success of Maverick has also boosted interest in associated projects, such as the upcoming revival of Willow on Disney Plus, which Kilmer has reportedly been involved with behind-the-scenes in lieu of a physical appearance.

The actor has battled throat cancer, with audiences praising the delicate way in which Maverick addresses that sensitive subject matter.

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Die-hard fans of the original film may be disappointed to learn that Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan do not reprise their roles for this sequel, with director Joesph Kosinski saying that he never considered bringing either of them back.

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

His comments follow an earlier statement by McGillis to Entertainment Tonight, where she gave an alternative explanation for her absence from the sequel.

"I'm old and I'm fat and I look age-appropriate for what my age is," she said. "And that is not what that whole scene is about."

Read on for everything you need to know about the Top Gun: Maverick cast.

Top Gun Maverick cast: New cast and returning character guide

Tom Cruise plays Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell

Tom Cruise as Captain Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick

Who is Maverick? A test pilot and flight instructor, Maverick was once a highly skilled but often reckless pilot who now passes on his expertise to a younger batch of pilots.

What else has Tom Cruise been in? One of the biggest film stars in the world for almost four decades, Cruise has had lead roles in a number of critical and commercial hits including Risky Business, The Color of Money, Rain Man, Born on the Fourth of July, A Few Good Men, The Firm, Interview with the Vampire, Jerry Maguire, Vanilla Sky, Minority Report, The Last Samurai, Collateral, War of the Worlds, Knight and Day, Jack Reacher, Oblivion and Edge of Tomorrow.

He also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Paul Thomas Anderson's 1999 ensemble film Magnolia and has played IMF agent Ethan Hunt in six instalments of the Mission: Impossible franchise, a role he will reprise in at least two further films. He first played Maverick in the original Top Gun film back in 1986 and is stepping back into the role 36 years later.

Jennifer Connelly plays Penelope "Penny" Benjamin

Jennifer Connelly plays Penelope _Penny_ Benjamin

Who is Penny? Maverick's new love interest, who is a single mother, bar owner, and the daughter of a former admiral.

What else has Jennifer Connelly been in? Connelly first found fame as a teenager, appearing in films such as Once Upon A Time in America, Phenomena, and Labyrinth, and later garnered acclaim for her performances in the likes of Requiem for a Dream and A Beautiful Mind, the latter of which saw her win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. More recently, she's had a starring role in TV series Snowpiercer and has had film roles in Only the Brave and Alita: Battle Angel.

Miles Teller plays Lieutenant Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw

Miles Teller plays Lieutenant Bradley _Rooster_ Bradshaw

Who is Rooster? A pilot in the mission training group, and the son of Maverick's late RIO and best friend, Nick "Goose" Bradshaw, Rooster is the protege of Maverick.

What else has Miles Teller been in? Teller has had main roles in films including Footloose, The Spectacular Now, and Whiplash and starred as Peter Hayes in all three entries in the Divergent series. He also played Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic in the critically maligned Fantastic Four film in 2015 and previously collaborated with director Joseph Kosinski in Only the Brave. Top Gun: Maverick is his first film credit in five years, but he did have a main role in TV series Too Old to Die Young in 2019, and will portray Albert S. Ruddy in upcoming series The Offer, which tells the story behind the making of The Godfather.

Glen Powell plays Lieutenant "Hangman" Seresin

Glen Powell plays Lieutenant _Hangman_ Seresin

Who is Hangman? A mission pilot trainee.

What else has Glen Powell been in? Powell starred as Chad Radwell in the comedy horror series Scream Queens, and has had film roles in a range of features including The Dark Knight Rises,The Expendables 3, Everybody Wants Some!!, Hidden Figures and Set It Up.

Lewis Pullman plays Lieutenant Bob Floyd

Lewis Pullman plays Lieutenant Bob Floyd

Who is Lieutenant Bob Floyd? A mission pilot trainee.

What else has Lewis Pullman been in? Pullman's credits include starring roles in the films The Strangers: Prey at Night and Bad Times at the El Royale and playing Major Major Major Major in four episodes of the TV adaptation of Catch-22.

Ed Harris plays a Rear Admiral

Ed Harris plays a Rear Admiral

Who is Rear Admiral? Maverick's direct superior and one of the top dogs in the Navy command.

What else has Ed Harris been in? Harris had an impressive and varied big screen CV which has included four Oscar-nominated performances, in Apollo 13, The Truman Show, Pollock, and The Hours. Other highlights from his film career include roles in The Right Stuff, The Abyss, State of Grace, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Firm, Nixon, The Rock, Stepmom, A Beautiful Mind, Enemy at the Gates, A History of Violence, Gone Baby Gone, Snowpiercer, mother!, and The Lost Daughter.

Jon Hamm plays Vice Admiral "Cyclone"

Jon Hamm plays Vice Admiral _Cyclone_

Who is Cyclone? A vice admiral who sometimes butts heads with Maverick – who is never one to play by the rule book.

What else has Jon Hamm been in? Hamm is best known for playing the lead role of Don Draper in the hugely acclaimed series Mad Men – a role which saw him nominated for eight consecutive Best Actor Emmy's, finally winning in 2015. He's also had memorable guest roles in a range of hit sitcoms including 30 Rock, Toast of London, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Parks and Recreation and Curb Your Enthusiasm, while big-screen credits include The Town, Sucker Punch, Bridesmaids, Baby Driver, Bad Times at the El Royale, The Report, and Richard Jewell.

Val Kilmer plays Admiral Tom "Iceman" Kazansky

Val Kilmer plays Admiral Tom _Iceman_ Kazansky

Who is Iceman? A fellow instructor and former rival of Maverick – who he now on better tems with – Iceman is now the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

What else has Val Kilmer been in? Kilmer is reprising his role from the original Top Gun film – which is one of his most memorable turns in a career that has also included roles in Willow, The Doors, True Romance, Heat and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He also played Bruce Wayne/Batman in 1995's Batman Forever.

Monica Barbaro plays Lieutenant Natasha "Phoenix" Trace

Monica Barbaro plays Lieutenant Natasha _Phoenix_ Trace

Who is Phoenix? A mission pilot trainee.

What else has Monica Barbaro been in? This is Barbaro's first major big screen role, but she's previously had main parts in TV shows such as Unreal, Chicago Justice and The Good Cop.

Charles Parnell plays Rear Admiral Warlock

Charles Parnell plays Rear Admiral Warlock

Who is Rear Admiral Warlock? A Naval Flight Officer and graduate of TOPGUN and a commanding admiral.

What else has Charles Parnell been in? Parnell is perhaps best known for playing Police Chief Derek Frye on long-running soap All My Children (the second actor to play the role) and has also starred as Master Chief Russ Jeter on the TNT show The Last Ship.

Jay Ellis plays Lieutenant Reuben "Payback" Fitch

Jay Ellis plays Lieutenant Reuben _Payback_ Fitch

Who is Payback? A Naval Aviator and graduate of TOPGUN.

What else has Jay Ellis been in? Ellis' biggest film role to date has been as Jason Walker in 2019 horror flick Escape Room, while on the small screen he's had main roles as Bryce "Blueprint" Westbrook in The Game and Martin "Lawrence Walker" in Insecure. He also had a recurring role as Franklin Thomas in the hit 2020 miniseries Mrs. America.

Danny Ramirez plays Lieutenant "Fanboy"

Danny Ramirez plays Lieutenant _Fanboy_

Who is Fanboy? Payback's Weapon Sytems Officer.

What else has Danny Ramirez been in? Ramirez's best known roles to date have come on the small screen – starring as Mario Martinez in On My Block and Joaquin Torres in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Previous film roles have included Assassination Nation and Valley Girl.

The cast also includes Greg Tarzan Davis (Grey's Anatomy) as Lieutenant "Coyote", Manny Jacinto (The Good Place) as Fritz, Bashir Salahuddin (Cyrano) as Coleman, Lyliana Wray (Strange Angel) as Amelia Benjamin, Jean Louisa Kelly (Malignant) as Carole Bradshaw, Bob Stephenson (Jericho) as U.S. Air Force General Edward Clayton, Jake Picking (Hollywood), Raymond Lee (Kevin Can F**k Himself), and Chelsea Harris (Snowpiercer).


Top Gun: Maverick is released in cinemas on 27th May 2022. While you're waiting, visit our Movies hub for more news and features or find something to watch tonight with our TV Guide.
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