Meg Ryan Wasn’T Even Considered Worth Bringing Up In Tom Cruise’S Billion-Dollar Epic ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ For One Sad Reason


The news that Meg Ryan will not be appearing in the Top Gun sequel devastated her fans. Meg Ryan’s first significant film performance before becoming a Hollywood star was in Top Gun. Her breakthrough performance was in the beloved film When Harry Met Sally. and during the 1990s and the first part of the 2000s, she was in great demand. She did not, however, appear in the 2022 release of Top Gun: Maverick, the Tom Cruise film’s sequel. The filmmaker chose not to focus on the past, which is why she wasn’t in the movie.

A Top Gun sequel was planned at Paramount as far back as 2010, with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Tony Scott, and Tom Cruise set to return. Unfortunately, the project stalled with Scott’s untimely passing in 2012. When production resumed in 2017, Joseph Kosinski was brought in to direct the film.

Meg Ryan Was Not Even Considered For Tom Cruise’s Epic Sequel

Except for Pete “Maverick” Mitchell played by Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer’s Tom “Iceman” Kazansky was the most notable cast member to return from the original film. With Cruise’s character teaching a number of new pilots, including the son of his late best friend Goose, the sequel took a different turn. However, Meg Ryan’s Carole Bradshaw and Kelly McGillis’s Charlie Blackwood, two of the key female characters from the first movie, were not present in the follow-up.

McGillis played Cruise’s romantic partner and a pilot instructor in Top Gun. However, she was replaced by Jennifer Connelly as the new romantic interest. Meg Ryan played the wife of Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, Maverick’s best friend and radar intercept officer. Ryan’s character was killed off-screen in Top Gun: Maverick. Miles Teller’s Rooster Bradshaw in the sequel is the son of Ryan’s character.

Interestingly, both female characters were not even brought up in discussions during the sequel’s development. Joseph Kosinski shared that he wanted to introduce new characters in the sequel rather than revisit the past. He wanted to limit the past with Kilmer and Teller’s character arcs. Kosinski told Insider:


“Those weren’t stories that we were throwing around. I didn’t want every storyline to always be looking backward. It was important to introduce some new characters.”

Although the actresses may have been disappointed by this choice, the film eventually benefited from it. The follow-up was largely regarded as being significantly better than the first one, and it ended up making $1.496 billion at the box office.

Meg Ryan Remained Silent About Her Omission From The Movie

It was previously believed that Meg Ryan had left Hollywood following the release of her 2009 movie Serious Moonlight. She made multiple appearances in episodes of the web series Web Therapy while she was on leave. But in 2015, she made a comeback to the big screen with the movie Ithaca, where she also acted as director. In the same year, she also starred in the TV movie Fan Girl. Ryan has stepped back from the spotlight once more, but she will be back in November 2023 with her film What Happens Later. Ryan did not address her exclusion from Top Gun: Maverick. But Kelly McGillis, her co-star, talked candidly about the follow-up to Entertainment Tonight:

“They did not [call me], nor do I think they would ever. 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.”

Jennifer Connelly’s character, Penny Benjamin, had been mentioned in the original movie as the Admiral’s daughter. Joseph Kosinski saw the introduction of her character as an incredible opportunity to explore new storylines.