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'Top Gun: Maverick' director says the major female stars from the first movie were never considered for the sequel

·3 min read
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Kelly McGillis holding onto Tom Cruise
Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise in "Top Gun."Paramount
  • None of the original female cast from "Top Gun" returned for the sequel.

  • Director Joseph Kosinski told Insider that Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan's characters were never discussed to return.

  • "I didn't want every storyline to always be looking backwards," he said.

Though "Top Gun: Maverick" is filled with nostalgic moments for those who loved the original 1986 movie, two key members are missing: Kelly McGills, who played the romantic lead, and Meg Ryan, who played the wife of "Goose" Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards), the best friend of Tom Cruise's character, "Maverick" Mitchell.

"Top Gun: Maverick" director Joseph Kosinski admitted to Insider that bringing back the two major female characters was never even considered while the sequel was being developed.

"Those weren't stories that we were throwing around," Kosinski told Insider.

Meg Ryan smiling
Meg Ryan in "Top Gun."Paramount

The director explained that there were enough touchstones from the first movie with the return of Val Kilmer as "Iceman" Kazansky, and a major storyline being Maverick training Goose's son, "Rooster" Bradshaw (Miles Teller).

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

"Top Gun: Maverick" picks up on Cruise's Navy pilot character 30 years later, and features new hotshot pilots that Maverick has to train for a big mission. The new cast includes stars like Teller, Glen Powell ("Set It Up"), Jay Ellis ("Insecure"), and Monica Barbaro ("The Good Cop").

The sequel also introduces a character that is only briefly mentioned in the first movie.

top gun maverick
Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly in "Top Gun: Maverick."Paramount Pictures

To play the romantic lead opposite Cruise, 59, in "Maverick," Jennifer Connelly, 51, stars as Penny Benjamin.

In the first movie, Penny is only referred to as "the Admiral's daughter" whom Maverick had a fling with. In the sequel, she's now a single mother who owns a bar near the flight school where Maverick returns to teach.

"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 said.

Meg Ryan in a black dress
Meg Ryan.Taylor Hill/WireImage/Getty

1986's "Top Gun" marked the first major movie role for Ryan, 60. She has gone on to become a major star thanks to beloved rom-com hits like "When Harry Met Sally..." and "You've Got Mail."

McGillis, 64, was a major star through the 1980s. Along with "Top Gun," where she plays an instructor who falls for Maverick, she also starred in 1985's "Witness" opposite Harrison Ford and 1988's "The Accused" alongside Jodie Foster.

Kelly McGillis laughing
Kelly McGillis.Frederick M. Brown/Getty

When Entertainment Tonight asked McGillis in 2019 if she was approached to return for "Top Gun: Maverick" she said she never was.

"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."

"Top Gun: Maverick" opens in theaters on May 27.

Read the original article on Insider