Top Gun: Maverick director defends not asking Kelly McGillis to return for sequel

Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise in Top Gun
Kelly McGillis does not return opposite Tom Cruise in Top Gun sequel Top Gun: Maverick. (Corbis/Getty Images)

Top Gun: Maverick director has defended not inviting any of the original female cast to reprise their roles in the sequel.

The follow up to 1986 film classic Top Gun is released in cinemas on 27 May with Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer returning as pilots Maverick and Iceman, while Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan who appeared in the original movie were not invited to take part.

Director Joseph Kosinski told Insider: "Those weren't stories that we were throwing around."

Read more: The Top Gun cast - Then and now

He added: "I didn't want every storyline to always be looking backwards. It was important to introduce some new characters."

Tom Cruise  returns as pilot Maverick in the Top Gun sequel Top Gun: Maverick. (Credit: Paramount)
Tom Cruise returns as pilot Maverick in the Top Gun sequel Top Gun: Maverick. (Credit: Paramount)

McGillis, 64, played the romantic lead - flight instructor Charlie Blackwood - in Top Gun opposite 59-year-old Cruise.

Ryan, 60, was the wife of Maverick's best friend 'Goose' Bradshaw, played by Anthony Edwards.

Top Gun: Maverick stars Miles Teller as Goose's son 'Rooster' Bradshaw, alongside Jennifer Connelly, 51, as Maverick's new love interest and Monica Barbaro, 31, as a female pilot in training.

Kelly McGillis in 2010
Kelly McGillis claimed she was 'too fat and old' to be asked to join the Top Gun sequel. (Getty Images)

The cast also includes Jon Hamm, 51, and 71-year-old Ed Harris along with 29-year-old Lewis Pullman and Glen Powell, 33.

McGillis has previously said she did not expect to be invited back for the sequel because she looked her age and therefore didn't fit the image of the movie.

She told Entertainment Tonight in 2019: “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 in 1986.
Meg Ryan as Carole in Top Gun in 1986. (CBS via Getty Images)

“To me, I’d much rather feel absolutely secure in my skin and who and what I am at my age as opposed to placing a value on all that other stuff.”

The sequel to 1986's Top Gun, on which Cruise is a producer, has been delayed multiple times, at least partly because of the coronavirus pandemic. The first trailer was released way back in July 2019.

Lady Gaga has recorded a new song for the movie soundtrack called Hold My Hand.

Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly and Miles Teller attend the Mexico Press Day of
Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly and Miles Teller star in Top Gun: Maverick. (Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

The original soundtrack was a huge blockbuster, having sold over nine million copies to date.

Read more: Kelly McGillis says she wasn't invited back for Top Gun: Maverick

It featured hits such as Berlin's Take My Breath Away(which won the Oscar for Best Song) and Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins.