On May 23, Variety reported that Tom Cruise had officially signed on for a sequel to his 1986 smash hit “Top Gun”. We live in a world where sequels and reboots are getting made for all of our favorite shows and movies. Hell, ABC is making another season of “Rosanne” and somehow John Goodman is involved (don’t ask me how). “Top Gun” has a special place in many of our hearts at TGS, so we decided to cast the upcoming movie. Let Ted Flint break it down with his personal editor, Arnold Woods, chiming in.
The two leads
It makes the most sense for Tom Cruise to slip into the mentor role that was played by Tom Skerritt in the first film. Maverick being the teacher this time around should make for an interesting dynamic, but he’ll need an antagonist, and I have the perfect choice. John Hamm needs to be cast as a bureaucratic businessman or senator who’s trying to shut down the Top Gun program. Anyone who has seen Mad Men knows Hamm could pull this role off in his sleep. And let’s be honest; Hamm could use a hit movie since he’s kind of been in Hollywood limbo since Mad Men went off the air. Seeing Cruise and Hamm go at it could lead to some great scene-chewing also.
Every Top Gun movie is going to need a young brash pilot at the forefront. Michael B. Jordan could easily slide into this role. If he you saw him in “Creed” you know he can bring the playful arrogance that this character needs. He’s an ascending movie star and this could be the role that shoots him to the top of the A-list. Throw whatever amount of money at him it takes; this movie cannot afford a lackluster cast.
I’ll let editor Arnold Woods tell you who should play the movie’s love interest. Take it away, Arnold:
Confession time– I’ve never actually seen “Top Gun”. My knowledge of the film is limited to a few distinct facts: there are military pilots, there’s Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, there’s volleyball, and Cruise probably laughs his maniacal laugh at some point. Maybe there’s a bartender spinning bottles of vodka blindfolded at some point; maybe that’s a different movie. Doesn’t matter. All that matters is that Hayley Atwell earns the lead female role in this remake. A quick browse of Wikipedia tells me that Kelly McGillis plays an astrophysicist who doesn’t take shit from anyone in the original “Top Gun”. There’s no one better to play a no-nonsense genius than Atwell. I’ll refrain from going talking too much about her brilliant turns as Agent Margaret “Peggy” Carter in various Marvel TV and film properties, as I’m still seething with rage that the “Agent Carter” TV series was canceled. Put simply, Hayley Atwell is my hero and will save us all from the mutant fighter jets that plot to take over the world (that’s what “Top Gun” was about, right?). My only request is that she keep her native accent for the movie. British people just sound smarter than we do and everybody knows it.
The other pilots
We all remember Couger, the young pilot who almost crashes and Maverick has to help him get back to the aircraft carrier. This is a small role that requires someone to be able to get a lot a across in a short amount of time. We need someone who can ground the brash Jordan character, so I’m going to cast the over worked Donald Glover for this role. He can go from fun to serious on a drop; plus the world needs more Donald Glover in our lives.
[Editor’s note: As crazy as this would have sounded three years ago, Donald is too big for this role now. This would be like casting Will Smith in 1996 as a comic relief sidekick. I’m gonna go with newcomer and “Get Out” leading man Daniel Kaluuya here.]
Merlin (played by Tim Robbins) was the original co-pilot to Cougar before he flames out, and then fills in with Maverick after what happens to Goose. This role was incredibly hard to fill. The original idea was Ryan Reynolds, but he is just too damn old (Robbins was 28 in the original movie). I settled on “Kingsman” series star Taron Egerton. After being passed over to play the young Han Solo, it is time for him to get his wings. Heck, he could even keep even keep his British accent to go along with Hayley.
Now it’s time to talk about Goose. For Maverick’s co-pilot we need someone fun and full of energy. Even though he got a bad wrap in the new “Spider-Man” movies, Andrew Garfield would make an amazing best friend to Michael B. Jordan’s character. It could be the role that showcases Garfield’s little-seen comic side. As a side note, Anna Kendrick needs to play Garfield’s wife. She is this generation’s Meg Ryan and it isn’t even close.
[Editor’s note: That’s a super random comparison but I’ll allow it.]
Next up is the pivotal role of Ice Man. We at TGS went back and forth with this–how can you replace Val Kilmer? You can’t, so we thought outside the box. Our Chief Shade Officer Tami Dooley came up with a perfect idea: Ruby Rose of “Orange is the New Black” and “John Wick 2” fame. Let’s let Tami explain why Rose is perfect for the new Iceman: “the piercing eyes, the snark, the action film experience. Plus she’s flat out beautiful in a similar way to Val Kilmer, all eyes and teeth and a slight sense of danger.” She needs a good co-pilot to have a brooding, serious relationship with (opposite of the Jordan/Garfield dynamic), so we went with Stephen Amell who plays Oliver Queen on CW’s TV show ” Arrow”.
[Editor’s note: Are you sure my sister didn’t suggest this? She’d love the Amell pick here.]
Last but not least we needed someone to fill the shoes of Michael Ironside. This has to be the guy who puts fear into all of the Top Gun recruits, and while we could just keep Ironside in that role, where’s the fun in that? We know he never says no to a paycheck, so welcome to “Top Gun 2” Samuel L Jackson! And if he’s busy someone can call Dennis Quads agent.
[Editor’s note: No snakes or snake puns plz.]