Top Gun: These 10 actors almost played Maverick instead of Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise in Maverick: what is indisputably obvious today was not necessarily so in 1985-1986, when “Top Gun” was being prepared. Take a look back at 10 rising ’80s stars who nearly took control of Pete Mitchell’s F-14.

In 1986, Tom Cruise soar to the heights with Top Gun. Noticed in Taps, Underdogs, Risky Business Where Legend at the start of the 1980s, the man who was just a rising star became THE new face of American cinema thanks to the success of the feature film by Tony Scottwhich rakes in more than $350 million worldwide for a budget of just 15 million greenbacks.

At the time, even before filming, Cruise was aware that Top Gun is a major step “superior” even in his career. He is thus involved in the production process, with the approval of don simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, and takes part in all the preparatory meetings, from sets to costumes and photography. And the scenario, of course, which he develops with his producers for a month.

“I saw – cinematically – what they were going to do”remembers the actor in the press kit of Top Gun Maverick. “But the script wasn’t great. It didn’t work. There was no real character with Maverick. It was a pretty vague universe, not very defined (…) So we started talking about this script, and I said that for me it was a movie about competition, about honor, a movie about friendship, about sacrifice and stakes and mistakes, and coming to terms with those mistakes “.

Convinced by the project, the actor also has two requirements: to shoot in a real F-14, and to fly with the Blue Angels, the Navy demonstration team which offers air shows across the United States. “It was a great flight. For the first time, I felt the different levels of G-force. You can read, learn about G-force, but you don’t understand it until you learn it. didn’t live. It was a great flight. They let me do what I wanted – and I kept going until about 5G. And what Jerry doesn’t know, because I kept them going for months to know if I was going to engage in the film or not, it is that I was then already convinced that I was going to do it”.

The rest is legend, and continued thirty-six years later with Top Gun Maverick, acclaimed by the public (it is the best film of the post-COVID era according to AlloCiné viewers) and very lucrative at the box office ($400 million across the Atlantic, more than $800 million worldwide). Yet, as is always the case in Hollywood, many comedians have been considered, even approached, for the role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. A look back at ten actors who almost flew away instead of Tom Cruise.

Michael J. Fox

Top gun: these 10 actors almost played maverick instead of tom cruise
Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

Name of Zeus! What if after traveling in a DeLorean in Back to the future, Michael J. Fox embarked for the flight deck of Top Gun ? The actor was thus part of the shortlist for the role of Maverick for a time, without this being able to materialize. It must be said that between Teen Wolf, The secret of my success and especially the series sacred family who mobilized him from 1982 to 1989, his schedule was full. Note that he will also be “entitled” to his war film with Outrages by Brian De Palma (1989) against… Sean Penna time in the running for Maverick player too.

Emilio Estevez

Top gun: these 10 actors almost played maverick instead of tom cruise
Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

Emeritus member of the Brat Pack, a group of young comedians from the 80s (of which Tom Cruise will be a secondary member), Emilio Estevez a, like his brother Charlie Sheenalmost signed for Top Gun. Not selected, he still marks the 80s with the Breakfast Club by John Hughes, Close monitoring and especially the western Young Guns (where Tom Cruise makes a small uncredited appearance).

Rob Lowe

Top gun: these 10 actors almost played maverick instead of tom cruise
Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

Also a member of the Brat Pack, Rob Lowe revealed many years later that he did not get along very well with Tom Cruise on the set of Underdogs, finding it too competitive. He was one of the actors considered for the role of Maverick, and finally walked the ice of Youngblood when Cruise took to the skies at the controls of his F-14.

Matthew Broderick

Top gun: these 10 actors almost played maverick instead of tom cruise
Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

Unforgettable Ferris Bueller, Matthew Broderick is one of the faces to follow in the 80s when WarGames Where ladyhawke nicely launched his career. Logical since it appears on the list of actors in the running to slip into the controls of Top Gun.

Matthew Modine

Top gun: these 10 actors almost played maverick instead of tom cruise
Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

Now well known to Netflix subscribers thanks to his role in Stranger Things, Matthew Modine is at the time in the spotlight thanks to its role in birdiewhich won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 1985. Refusing to engage in “pro-army” projects, he declined Top Gun in particular for the benefit of Full Metal Jacket by Stanley Kubrick.

Nicholas Cage

Top gun: these 10 actors almost played maverick instead of tom cruise
Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

Partner of Matthew Modine in birdie, Nicholas Cage is also one of the rising stars of Hollywood at the time of the preparation of Top Gun. It will turn instead Peggy Sue got marriedalongside a certain jim carreyalso considered for the role of Maverick.

patrick swayze

Top gun: these 10 actors almost played maverick instead of tom cruise
Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

He had met a very young Tom Cruise in gang movie Underdogs by Francis Ford Coppola: patrick swayze was one of his “rivals” for the lead role of Top Gun. Probably too busy with the historical series North and Souththe actor will shine in another cult and emblematic film of the 80s, with an equally memorable soundtrack, dirty dancing.

Scott Baio

Top gun: these 10 actors almost played maverick instead of tom cruise
Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

In the early 80’s, Scott Baio is illustrated mainly on television, in the role of Chachi Arcola of the series Happy Days and in the main role of the series Charles takes care of it. He said he turned down the role of Maverick in Top Gun.

John Travolta

Top gun: these 10 actors almost played maverick instead of tom cruise
Paramount Pictures / AlloCine

If the “yellow dogs” of Top Gun (crew members who direct Navy pilots on aircraft carriers) often dance on the flight deck after a successful launch, they almost learned lessons from a master in the matter: the name of John Travolta was thus mentioned by the production at the time, then discarded because considered not very bankable (the years grease, Saturday night fever and staying alive being over).

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