The director of Top Gun: Maverick has revealed why the original film's leading ladies are not in the sequel.


While the likes of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer reprise their roles as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell and Tom "Iceman" Kazansky, respectively, the major female characters of the 1986 film do not return.

Actress Kelly McGillis does not reprise her role as Mitchell's love interest Charlie Blackwood, nor does Meg Ryan return as Carole Bradshaw, the wife of Maverick's best friend "Goose" and the mother of his son Bradley, who is played as an adult by Miles Teller in Top Gun: Maverick.

Now, speaking to Insider, Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski has revealed that returns for McGillis and Ryan were never considered.

"Those weren't stories that we were throwing around," revealed Kosinski, adding: "I didn't want every storyline to always be looking backwards."

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He noted: "It was important to introduce some new characters."

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight in 2019, McGillis confirmed she had not been asked to return for Top Gun: Maverick and said: "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."

Meg Ryan as Carole in Top Gun
Meg Ryan as Carole in the 1986 film Top Gun Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Despite the absence of the female characters from the first film, Tom Cruise's Maverick has a new love interest in the form of single mother and bar owner Penny, played by Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly.

Elsewhere, Monica Barbaro is also introduced as a member of the film's team of pilots, Lieutenant Natasha "Phoenix" Trace.

As Top Gun: Maverick arrives in cinemas later this month, has already reviewed the film and gave it a glowing review, saying that "it improves upon the earlier film in just about every way".


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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