Los Angeles

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ introduces new pilots, pays homage to original 1986 film

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES — The sequel “Top Gun: Maverick” picks up more than 30 years after Tom Cruise first flew to box office heights in his role as a top Navy pilot.

While the new movie does introduce us to a new young cast of pilots that Maverick has been assigned to teach, there are plenty of references that are sure to please fans of the first film.

“It comes flooding back, right? I had that experience, too. I think they did such a good job paying homage to that, to the original film, but also making a film that in its own right has a great story,” said Jennifer Connelly.

Connelly wasn’t in the 1986 film, but her character was — sort of!

“In the original movie, they referenced Penny Benjamin, the admiral’s daughter. I think she’s mentioned a couple of times,” said Connelly. “I like Pete and Penny as a couple. I like that they have this long history, and that they just sort of keep coming back to one another and circling around one another.”

Miles Teller plays Rooster, the son of Anthony Edwards’ character Goose from the original film. Rooster finds himself clashing with, and eventually learning from, Cruise’s veteran flyer.

“I knew the expectations for this movie were going to be high, I think almost insurmountable, really, to make a sequel to ‘Top Gun’ that would satisfy people,” said Teller. “But when you sign up for a movie with Tom Cruise you know that the quality control is going to be there. So I never worried about, ‘is this going to fail?’ Because when you’re with Tom you just have this feeling that everything will work out.”

“Top Gun: Maverick” is rated PG-13 and is in theaters now.

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